Recap: “Faith” Episode 23
Joonni: I’ve been dying for the writer to throw us at least one bone and thankfully, in this penultimate episode, she granted us one. Whew! But because it wouldn’t be a K-drama without pushing every single threshold of our emotional endurance, our resident villain returns to his big, bad self to threaten the lives and happiness of our beloved heroes and heroines. Remind me why I allow myself to go through this torture over and over again?
Young comes in and orders her to pack right now. “We are going to there and waiting till the door opens.” Eun-soo replies, “I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay here.” Young yells, “Do I have to forcibly take you there?” Eun-soo asks, “After you send me off, after that…did you ever think about how I will be? Did you think about me?” Young replies that back in heaven, she can live.
Eun-soo says, “Yes I will probably live. In my room in the heavenly world, I will just live. Every day talking to people whose faces I don’t recognize, saying things all day long that I don’t mean. Then when it’s night, I’m going to come back to an empty room. Every time I sleep, I will call out once. ‘Are you there?’ I know there won’t be a reply. I will wake up and live another day like that- like I am dead. Don’t you know what living like that is like? You know. Because you are going to do that to.”
Young: “These few days while you are dying, I wasn’t able to be next to you. Instead of trying to get the medicine that will save my woman, I was out killing people. So how can someone like me protect you? How can I ask you to stay next to me?”
Young’s hand starts to tremble so Eun-soo worriedly holds it to her heart as she weeps.
Eun-soo wraps Young’s hand with a wet compress and takes his pulse. She massages his shoulders and asks if he has a headache. He replies no. She says that even though she hasn’t been able to properly examine him, considering all the symptoms, it doesn’t seem to be his hand shaking but his heart.
Young stops her massage and sits her down. He tells her that he’s confirmed the Yuan envoy and his henchmen have left for Yuan and it seems they won’t return. Yet he stills feels uneasy since the envoy knows where Eun-soo is. He starts to say something about what he wants to do before she leaves but Eun-soo looks away. Young asks her to look at him. “Do you remember when you asked if I would be okay after you left?” Young assures her that he will be okay. “I will eat well and live well. After some time, I will forget. I won’t think about you again. So go back and don’t worry about me. “
Eun-soo doesn’t respond. She just gets up to resoak the compress. Young continues. “It will be hard for you at first when you return but it will get better quickly since you are strong. I believe that.” Eun-soo replies, “Even if I return, I don’t think I will be okay. Because I can’t endure being alone, I might go looking for you again. Because I can’t find the door you brought me through, I might end up wandering a strange world.”
Young replies, “Don’t do that. Say you won’t do that.” Eun-soo doesn’t reply and Young sighs. He says, “I will try to stay by your side for the time left since I will be worried about you wherever you are. I will also try to make you laugh even though I don’t have much confidence that I can.”
The royal army arrests and questions Ki Chul’s soldiers and servants. Young reports to Gongmin that Ki Chul is on the run but he doesn’t seem to have left the capital city yet. Young suggests that barriers be set up at the border to prevent Ki Chul from going to Yuan and meeting his sister, the empress.
Gongmin wants Young to set up a new military unit to help get rid of the rest of Yuan’s supporters and stations in Goryeo. He suggest that they start by recruiting Ki Chul’s men. Young doesn’t answer immediately and asks to speak alone with him. All the other people leave.
Young says to Gongmin, “I think I am following in my teacher’s footsteps. A few days before he died, I saw him drop his sword.” Gongmin remembers Young dropping his sword in front of him too. Young continues, “I didn’t know what that meant then.” Gongmin asks, “What does it mean?” Young replies, “It’s time to lay down the sword. It’s becoming hard to hold it up.”
Gongmin stands up abruptly, not wanting to hear this but Young continues to talk. He says, “I will leave in seven days to send the doctor back. I will serve you until then.” Gongmin replies that he has already told him to be with Eun-soo until then. He adds, not wanting to let Young go, “Also know that I will continue to wait.”
Young’s sword lies on his table in the room. It is not by his side like a warrior’s sword should be.
Young speaks to his men. He tells them they are going to Ki Chul’s house to clean up his wealth and bring it back to the palace for the country’s use. While he says this, he notices Eun-soo standing there among his men. Young calls upon Deok-man and Dol-bae to escort him. He also calls out “Yoo Eun-soo” and Eun-soo, surprised, sticks out her pretty little head from among the soldiers. She is also to escort him. (Joonni: Kya! I think this is the first time Young has ever properly said her name. I love how he says it!)
The Woodalchi enter Ki Chul’s house and when Eun-soo straggles behind, Young grabs her so she can stick close to him. Eun-soo searches Ki Chul’s room and Young tells her that they have already searched for Hwata’s relics but they didn’t find it. He orders his men to continue searching this room while he and Eun-soo search elsewhere. Dol-bae and Deok-man giggle and smile at each other, knowingly.
Outside in Ki Chul’s courtyard, Eun-soo remembers the last time they were here, when Young came to see her after he was released from prison. Young sees her thinking and reminds her, “You said you liked being here.” Eun-soo replies that it was because Ki Chul gave her a lot of food and clothes. Young asks, “I know you like food but you like clothes too?” Eun-soo replies, “Of course. Especially pretty and expensive clothes.”
Young asks about what else she likes. She replies, “I like windy days and rainy days. I especially like the moment when it is just starting to rain. When the raindrops start to fall one by one and they hit my forehead, I look up at the sky- that moment.” Young asks if that is all. Eun-soo replies out loud, “Also the small yellow chrysanthemum and the colors blue and grey.” As she looks over at Young, she answers inside her head, “Also tall men and hands just that size.” Young asks again, not knowing what is going on inside her head, “Is that all you like?” Eun-soo replies only to herself, “And that voice too.” Out loud she says, “Yes. My greed must have shrunk.”
Eun-soo asks what Young likes. He doesn’t answer and just places his hand on her shoulder. (Joonni: Why does this small gesture get to me so much?) Young turns and sees a suspicious guy watching them. He follows the man and catches up to him. Digging through the guy’s bag, he finds a sword and he asks suspiciously why a slave would be carrying around a sword. He asks if Ki Chul sent him but at that moment, Young drops the sword and the guy runs away. Worried, Young runs to Eun-soo and sees that she is safe with the Woodalchi. Walking over to them, he orders Choong-suk to take care of things here. Choong-suk accepts readily but asks what Young will be doing then. He replies, “I am busy,” grabs Eun-soo’s hand and leaves. The other Woodalchi once again smile to themselves. (Joonni: Ha! Our macho daejang is not so macho anymore.)
Yang-gak offers Ki Chul a medicine that will help him channel and strengthen his power. He warns, however, that the medicine will only work for about half-day and will have serious side effects. Hwasooin comes to report that they know where Eun-soo is now. Ki Chul looks thrilled to hear this.
Back in Young’s room, he says to Eun-soo that they have to assume Ki Chul knows where she is now. She asks what they have to do now. Do they have to hide? Young replies unexpectedly, “Let’s go play.” Eun-soo can’t believe what Young just said so she asks him to repeat. Young does and adds, “Is there anything you want?” Eun-soo asks, “Are you saying you’re going to buy me something?” Young replies, “Do you need clothes?” She asks if he has money and he replies, “Probably a lot from the stipend I have received so far.” Eun-soo lights up and asks if she can ask for anything- like clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. Young replies yes. She wonders when they can leave and Young says right after he gives some orders to his men. Eun-soo covers her mouth in glee and Young asks if she is that happy with this. She vigorously nods yes and Young smiles to see her so happy. (Joonni: Yay! Young succeeded in making her smile like he wanted.)
While Eun-soo is gathering her change of clothing, Young walks over to her antidote cultures. He asks her if she has not given up yet on the making the antidote and staying here in Goryeo. She replies with determination, “Just wait. I will succeed.” He asks, “You can’t give up, right? On anything?” Eun-soo replies with a smile. “So get used to it.”
Gongmin is trying to focus on his work but Noguk, Lady Choi, and Do-chi are excitedly talking about something. Feeling left out, he gets there attention by tapping the scroll on his desk. Noguk walks over to him and asks if he would like to go out and draw. He wonders why outside. Noguk replies that if he goes outside, he will need bodyguards and Young will come too, and she can ask Eun-soo to come just in case of a medical emergency. When Gongmin just stares at her, Noguk stops creating excuses and just says straightforward that it’s because Eun-soo and Young don’t have much time left until their separation.
Lady Choi chimes in to say that since Gongmin has been working a lot these days, some time off would be good for him. Gongmin: “It seems the antidote couldn’t be found.” Noguk confirms. Gongmin: “Then the doctor will have to return.” Noguk: “Yes.”
Gongmin confesses, “I am fearful of what will happen after that. Of what will happen to daejang’s heart after that.” Lady Choi tries to reassure Gongmin by saying that since Young is a daejang, his heart won’t be shaken because of a woman. Gongmin replies, “Do you not know your nephew’s heart? To daejang, the doctor is not just any woman.” Gongmin explains that Young only looked at him properly after meeting Eun-soo. Before, Young only remembered his face as the new king that took over the old one.
Hwa-Eum enter their hiding place and Hwasooin complains. They should just go to Yuan right now. She also reports to Ki Chul that she confirmed that they don’t need to worry about Young. Ki Chul asks if Eun-soo is with him and Hwasooin replies that Eun-soo sticks right by Young’s side. She asks if they should bring her here or kill her. Ki Chul doesn’t answer. Instead, he asks Yang-gak if he sent a message to his sister in Yuan. Yang-gak confirms.
Ki Chul is impatient, though, because it will take too long for his sister to respond. He wants to go to the palace now. Eum-ja warns him against it because of all the soldiers and the Woodaclhi but Ki Chul can care less. He wants to go right to the heart of the palace. Everyone looks at him worriedly and Hwasooin asks how. Ki Chul replies, “Any way possible.”
At the medical ward, Deo-gi is putting away some supplies when she discovers a book in a drawer. She reads it and her eyebrows furrow. She rushes over to Eun-soo in Young’s room and shows her the book. But since Eun-soo can’t read Hanja or understand Deo-gi’s sign language, Deo-gi brings her over to Lady Choi.
Lady Choi reads the notebook. In it, there are notes are how to treat poison with poison and how Eun-soo’s poison might be treated with similar poison. Eun-soo understands this to be some kind of homeopathic treatment and asks Lady Choi what poison is similar to her poison. Lady Choi reads it and looks concerned. She closes the book and Eun-soo asks her what is wrong. Lady Choi reminds her that the poison is not an antidote and to use poison to treat another poison is dangerous. Even Jang Bin thought so too and wrote that he wouldn’t suggest this to anyone. That is why he didn’t say anything to her.
Eun-soo informs Lady Choi that this type of treatment is not completely ridiculous. There are people in her world researching it too. She went to a seminar about this once. Lady Choi warns her that it is too dangerous but Eun-soo’s priority is Young. She confesses to Lady Choi, “That person goes around without his sword. I’m scared to know what he will lay down next.” (Joonni: I’ve always wondered why Young didn’t have a sword belt. I guess it was to really emphasize that Young needs to carry the sword around in his hand, not just forget about it in his belt.)
In his room, Young is looking at his sword, which is hanging on the wall. He remembers what Eun-soo said to him on the night he came back from taking over the Yuan embassy. She had commented on how he just threw away his sword. Didn’t he always carry it with him like it was a part of his body? Young had replied, “I wonder if it is because it has become heavy?” He had asked her if it was possible that a sword suddenly becomes heavy like that.
Young breaks from his flashback and looks at Eun-soo’s antidote cultures again for a long time. Then he walks over to the bed and fixes Eun-soo’s blanket. Eun-soo’s paper drops to the floor and he picks it up to see that it is her calendar. He sits by her and gazes at her sleeping figure. He feels her head and then feels his own to check her temperature, just like how she did it for him before. He soothes and brushes her back and continues to look at her sleeping face.
Outside now, Young and Choong-suk watch the new Woodalchi recruits training. Choong-suk informs Young that the new recruits have a lot to learn and that because they picked them regardless of status, there has been some clashes among them. Young hands Choong-suk a notebook and tells him that he wrote down notes on how to train and organize the new unit that Gongmin wants to create. He wants Choong-suk to report to Gongmin. Choong-suk wonders why him and not Young himself but Young doesn’t answer the question. He just walks away.
Dol-bae sees Young leave and chases after him. He catches up and declares to Young, “It doesn’t matter.” Young asks what. Dol-bae replies, “Your hand. Even though I don’t know what’s wrong.” Young, unhappy that Dol-bae knows, asks if he told anyone else. Dol-bae replies of course not. It’s just that he saw Young drop his sword. He says, “Your hand doesn’t matter. Can’t you just continue to be our daejang? If you need a hand, I will be by your side. While it can’t compare to your sword, my spear is quite useful too. With this, I will be your hand.” (Joonni: Crap, crap, crap. With dialogue like this, you know what is going to come soon.) Young hits him on the head to demonstrate that Dol-bae can’t even block that simple attack. He says, “What are you going to protect, being like that? Just protect your head.” Young starts to walk away when Dae-man comes rushing over to report that Ki Chul has come.
Young walks inside the palace to find Ki Chul with Hwasooin and Eum-ja standing there with the Woodalchi surrounding them. Young orders his men to arrest him. When Ki Chul walks closer to Young, Dol-bae thrusts his spear out protectively in front of Young. Young notices this and clenches his hand in worry and fear.
Ki Chul claims that he will go to prison on his own two feet if Young lets him see Eun-soo. He points out that this a good term for Young since Young won’t be able to take on all three of them. Young looks back at his men, concerned for their safety if a fight breaks out. He swallows hard and looks at Hwasooin, realizing that she and Ki Chul know about his hand. She smirks at him.
Deok-man enters Young’s room to report, all smiley, that Gongmin and Noguk are going outside and Noguk wants Eun-soo as her protection. Young comes and roughly pushes Deok-man out. He walks over to Eun-soo and says to her, “Say no if you don’t want to.” She asks, “To what?” He replies that Ki Chul wants to see her. Will she see him?
Down in the prison, Young asks if Eun-soo will be okay. She asks if he will be here and he replies of course. Eun-soo says, “Then I will be okay.”
Young goes to see Ki Chul first. Ki Chul is chained to the wall. He walks over Young, saying he remembers a similar situation to this that happened before but back then, they were standing on opposite sides. He says, “I should have killed you then. I regret that.”
Young tells Ki Chul that Eun-soo is here and he will only allow him to see her if he is addresses her with proper decorum. Ki Chul agrees. Eun-soo walks in and Ki Chul growls, “Do you know how much I searched for you?” Eun-soo replies that she knows and that is why Jang Bin died. Ki Chul apologizes, claiming that his pledged siblings don’t know how to control themselves.
Ki Chul says to Eun-soo, “I have a sickness of the heart. Please fix it for me, doctor.” He asks if she came from heaven and Eun-soo replies no. Ki Chul struggles to maintain his anger as he asks, “Where did you come from then?” Eun-soo replies, “From tomorrow’s world.” She explains she came from a world that will happen in over 600 years from. Ki Chul asks if his illness can be healed there. Eun-soo wants to know what is wrong with him.
Ki Chul explains to Eun-soo that he has possessed everything that he has every wanted- from delicious food to beautiful and precious things. “But I have always been hungry. Because I was hungry I have changed kings and taken out people’s eyes. But my heart is hungry so my body is becoming ill too. If I go to that world, can it be treated?”
Eun-soo says if it is that kind of disease, it will be hard. In her world, there are a lot of people like him because they become more hungry the more they have. Ki Chul thinks Eun-soo is lying. Didn’t she say there are carriages that fly in the sky in her world? Eun-soo confirms so Ki Chul rants. How can people who live in that kind of world and have those kind of things be hungry?
As suggested, Gongmin and Noguk go outside, escorted by Lady Choi, Do-chi, and the Woodalchi. Noguk sits in front of Gongmin so he can draw her. (Joonni: Guh! Our Noguk is so gorgeous and radiant.)
In another part of the palace courtyards, Young and Eun-soo are walking together. Young tries to hold Eun-soo’s hand but Eun-soo keeps pulling back. Finally she allows him to hold her hand and soon after, he notices how warm it is. Young feels her forehead and asks if the fever has started. She replies yes and adds that it started in the morning. Young worries because the fever has started already. Once the fever starts, there are only seven days until death but Eun-soo still has ten days left till the door to heaven opens.
Eun-soo tries to stop Young’s panic. She tells him it’s still a slight fever so before it gets worse, there is something she wants to try. He asks anxiously, “Is there something you can try?” Eun-soo tells him she is going to try later in the evening and she needs help with it. Young once again wants to confirm with her that there is definitely something she can do. Eun-soo nods yes and but until then, she wants him to put her heart at ease. Eun-soo says, “Your heart needs to be at ease in order for my heart to be at ease too.” Young asks what else and Eun-soo replies that it is all she needs. Young embraces her, holding tightly onto this woman who both amazes him and breaks his heart at the same time.
Young and Eun-soo are walking around in the palace courtyard when they see Noguk and Gongmin. Eun-soo stops Young to look lovingly at the royal couple- her friends. While Noguk shows Eun-soo Gongmin’s drawing of her, Young and Gongmin have a conversation of their own a bit ways off. Gongmin asks Young about Ki Chul and Young reports that Ki Chul is sick. Gongmin remembers what Ki Chul said to him before about the hole in his heart.
Young says to Gongmin, “Your majesty, I don’t want to think about him right now. It’s because my heart needs to be at ease right now. That’s what that person asked me so please give me permission.” Gongmin understands and agrees to stop talking about Ki Chul. Young and Gongmin turn to watch their ladies.
Noguk sees Young looking over and she says to Eun-soo, “He keeps looking at you.” Eun-soo sees this too and smiles. Noguk asks Eun-soo, “You love (sarang) him, right?” Eun-soo replies yes. Noguk asks if Eun-soo taught Young that word, “sarang,” and it’s meaning. Eun-soo replies no since Young doesn’t like to learn words from heaven. Eun-soo asks Noguk, Lady Choi, and Do-chi to go stand next to Gongmin and Young so she can see them all together and remember them like that.
Noguk, Lady Choi, and Do-chi join Young and Gongmin, and Eun-soo gazes upon them, etching into her heart their faces one by one. She sees Young and notices that he isn’t smiling like everyone else so she gestures for him to smile and he does…warmly, gently.
Down in the prison, Ki Chul is talking to Eum-ja, who can hear him using his power. He tells him that tomorrow there will be his trial with the king at the royal court. During that time, he wants Hwasooin and Eum-ja to find Hwata’s relics and come find him after. “I will be with the king.”
At the medical ward, Deo-gi is preparing something while Eun-soo waits. Deok-man comes in with the poison that Eun-soo is going to use with Lady Choi’s warning that even a small amount of this poison can kill. Eun-soo replies that she knows so she will be diluting the poison a thousand times.
Young enters his room looking for Eun-soo but she isn’t there. He asks Dae-man where she is and he tells him that Eun-soo is in the medical ward. Young rushes out.
At the medical ward, Eun-soo prepares the poison. Lady Choi comes in, still warning Eun-soo against trying this method of treating poison with poison. Eun-soo starts to explain that she can tell her about how this method works but Young walks in, having heard what Lady Choi just said. He demands to know what this talk of poison is about and Eun-soo answers that this is what she meant by trying something tonight and needing his help. She asks him, “You’ll be by my side to help, right?”
Back in their room, Young paces, unhappy with this new solution. He asks her what the chances of success are and Eun-soo replies that she doesn’t know since she is the first test subject. When Young reacts in anger, Eun-soo quickly adds, “But I can say this. If I just sit still without trying anything and the fever gets worse, it is the end.”
Young pulls out Eun-soo’s calendar and asks if this the record of how many days are left until the door to heaven opens. Eun-soo confirms. (Joonni: Eight days!) Young says, “Thinking that there are still these many days left, I’ve been wondering what I could do more for you. But if something goes wrong tonight, there won’t be anything left for me to do.”
Eun-soo unwraps her arm bandage to emphasize there is no time to lose. Young can’t bear to look and he turns away. He asks, without looking at her, how she can look so normal in this kind of situation. Eun-soo asks if she should be crying then, thinking this could be the last. Eun-soo declares to reassure Young, “I believe it will turn out well. It will turn out well. I will live.” To reassure herself, she adds, “I will live and be able to stay next to this person. So it is okay.” Young finally turns to look at Eun-soo and she smiles at him bravely with tears in her eyes.
On Deo-gi’s way into Young’s room, Choong-suk stops her to ask if Eun-soo is okay. She tries to sign to him but he doesn’t understand so he just orders Dae-man to quickly open the door. (Joonni: It’s so sweet to see all the Woodalchi so worried about Eun-soo.)
Deo-gi has brought a fever reducer medicine for Eun-soo. Eun-soo instructs Lady Choi that if the treatment starts to work, a fever will occur and she might lose consciousness. But she should be left alone since it means her body is fighting. The fever reducer should only be used if daybreaks but the fever still hasn’t gone down. Young, who has been listening to all this with his head down, finally raises his head to declare that he will do it. He will stay by Eun-soo’s side and take care of her instead of Lady Choi.
Alone together, Eun-soo pours the diluted poison into a bowl. Before she can pick it up, Young grabs her hand in one final attempt to stop her. Eun-goo gently holds Young’s hand to reassure him and he lets go. She drinks the poison and Young cups her face, his eyes filled with concern. He holds both of her hands with his own and they sit facing each other, wordless in this dark and terrifying hour.
Young remembers back on all his moments with Eun-soo as he gently brushes her hair- how she cupped his face to feel his fever; how he reached out for her hair; how he traced her shadow on the screen door; how she smiled happily when he promised her food; and how energetic and bright she used to be. Eun-soo starts to have a hard time as the poison takes over her body and Young hugs her tightly.
It is morning and Lady Choi comes over to check. He tells her that the fever hasn’t gone done even thought it’s the morning. (Joonni: Hmm, no mention of the medicine that Deo-gi brought. I’m assuming he used it already and her fever still hasn’t gone down.) Lady Choi tries to take the wet cloth from Young so she can take care of Eun-soo now but Young refuses to let go. Lady Choi suggests that Young rest. He replies that Eun-soo hasn’t rest. She has been fighting all night long, without giving up. Lady Choi replies that she knows- Eun-soo is definitely someone who won’t give up.
Lady Choi takes the cloth from Young and tells him that since they don’t know how much longer she has to fight, he should go gather his strength. Young gets up and he notices the aspirin bottle that Eun-soo gave him and remembers what she said to him about it helping to reduce fever. Young takes one out and chews on it. He feeds the crushed aspirin into Eun-soo’s mouth.
The Woodalchi comes to escort Ki Chul to the questioning. They are highly guarded and Ki Chul is amused to see them react so strongly in fear. Eum-ja, in his own cell, signals to traitorous soldiers in the prison and they help him and Hwasooin escape.
Gongmin starts the questioning but Ki Chul interrupts to say he has one request. He starts to pull something from his sleeve and Choong-suk tries to stop him. Unfortunately, Ki Chul takes out the medicine that Yang-gak gave him and eats it. He pushes Choong-suk away and breaks apart from his chains using his newly strengthened power.
Young is still looking after Eun-soo when he hears the Woodalchi warning whistle. Dae-man rushes into to report that Ki Chul has taken Gongmin hostage. Lady Choi tells Young to go and reassures that she will take care of Eun-soo. Young doesn’t immediately leave, however, as he feel Eun-soo’s forehead again and gazes into her face. He leaves the room with Dae-man and Lady Choi realizes that Young has left without his sword. It is still hanging on the wall.
Hwasoonin and Eum-ja find Hwata’s relics in the palace.
The Woodalchi attack Ki Chul who is trying to get closer to Gongmin. He fights back, killing them. Gongmin tries to leave but Ki Chul stops him. Gongmin asks if he has gone crazy. Ki Chul replies that it’s nothing. He only came to find what is his. He wants only Gongmin to remain behind and have all the others leave because they are getting on his nerves. Deok-man tries to attack Ki Chul but fails.
Lady Choi gets up briefly from watching Eun-soo. When she is not looking, Eun-soo’s hand starts to move.
Young enters the royal court and sees his men dead on the floor. Gongmin declares to Young that Ki Chul has gone crazy beyond any help. Young asks calmly what Ki Chul is up to and Ki Chul replies that he came for Eun-soo. Young’s hand starts to tremble and Dol-bae notices. Young sees Dol-bae start to ready his spear and knows what he is planning to do. He whispers, “Don’t do that,” but Dol-bae calls Ki Chul’s attention and attacks. Young screams out “Don’t do that,” as Ki Chul escapes Dol-bae’s attack and grabs his neck and freezes him. (Joonni: Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. Please no. Please no. Please no.)
Young kicks up a sword lying nearby and swings at Ki Chul but Ki Chul knocks it away. Young stands in shock to have been so easily disarmed.
Back in Young’s room, Eun-soo wakes up.
Just standing together they look like a couple in love. Their adoration and lingering glances at each other betray their emotions so openly now it sort of hurts to stare. This episode delivered more than we asked, but held onto a few more secrets. Time is running out in the story just as in real life. Where we stand tm is going to be something to look forward to as we sit on the edges of our seats waiting with bated breath.
I know some might think this last ditch effort on ES’s part to take the poison to fight the other one in her system as folly, but I see it as bravery. she had the guts to try something at least and not just sit around feeling sorry for herself. I can’t even begin to rationalize how Young’s aspirin might have helped her symptoms except to reduce her fever like some people said, but hey when you have any excuse for another kiss on a penultimate episode, you dont question the “why’s” and just run with it. I loved Dol Bae’s speech to Young about offering his hand to be Young’s. That’s why I cried again at the end when he got killed. Pretty sure he died cuz if your neck is frozen like that, how do you recover from it.
on a lighter note – so it turns out choong suk isnt the only one – none of them know the concept of knocking. now I feel bad for mentally yelling at choong last time. I wrote “learn to knock buddy so you dont interrupt again during smooch times cuz there arent enough – thanks to you we are one short this week.” It’s too late now though cuz this actor will forever be known as the character who stopped another kiss in my book.
3:41 am: I just texted Joonni that I felt like this episode wasn’t long enough cuz if you subtract all the flashback scenes and extended credit at the end, they sort of shortchanged us time wise. That is like the first negative thing I ever said so far in this series. I also told her I would still be able to find the silver lining in this episode and it was pretty easy to come up with. Throughout this whole time, I have never spoken out about any complaints or problems I have with it simply cuz I didn’t notice and I didn’t have any worth mentioning. My major complaint would be an hour is not long enough per episode. People think it’s cuz I am trying to live up to my name or something, but truth be told, this drama just could do no wrong in my eyes from the start. If I can re-watch episodes of my own volition after all those hours of translation you can bet your money I am head over heels in love. My way of paying back to this drama for all those hours of entertainment is showing deference and be that voice of minority that sings its praises. Seriously you would be hard pressed to find another drama that sparks so many debates about the ending and have so many questions arise after each episode. Sorting through all the questions and answers so far has been a great part of the fun so at this point, pretty much unless a Fashion King like craziness erupts for the finale, this drama is going to stay a favorite of mine.
Written before it aired: I think my mindset as a viewer is too simple and straightforward. Just entertain with your story, sharp dialogue, and great characters and I am a happy camper. If you throw in great cinematography, editing, and directing those are just added bonuses. I probably won’t even notice anything except for the camera work since I love taking screenshots. It takes a lot of drama watching experience and a trained eye to spot any inconsistencies in editing or directing and I am still a newbie at heart cuz for some odd reason none of those things matter when I fall in love with a drama from the first episode. To this day, I can tell you exactly which scene made me fall madly in love with each of my favorite dramas. In Faith, it was that line on episode one when Young asked Gongmin to give him the order to go in through the portal to heaven. Just from the look on his face, you could tell Gongmin doesn’t want to make Young do this so Young had to force his hand and ask him to give the order – sort of like it was Young’s way of making Gongmin “man up.” Any guy who would follow an order like that I was more than willing to watch. Then on his way back to the portal, Young had to carry Eun Soo over his shoulders so he actually took the time to be polite and say “excuse me” and then carry her off. They say chivalry is dead, but not on this drama it seems. I adore dramas when they have originality from start to finish cuz I am sick to death of dramas that have the same plot and predicable characters. No matter what you say about Faith, at least it’s not guilty of that. A few weeks ago I started writing an intro that seemed more like a farewell so I wanted to save what I had written for the finale post, but I want to say it now before E23 airs. If a drama doesn’t air a finale you hoped for, you shouldn’t write it off as a total failure, loss, or waste of time. What you got out of it up to the episode you loved is worth more than a flop of a drama you saw in the past. That’s why after each episode airs, I think to myself if this drama ended now, I would still be satisfied by this viewing experience. It gave me more laughter, enjoyment, and melancholy to make all this worthwhile. Not many dramas have the distinction of falling into this category, but Faith did from day one and nothing has ever changed my feelings for it. If anything, I still firmly believe this show has what it takes to end strong and not let its audience down. In my book, this drama warrants that last leap of faith and earned it with every great episode it has given us so far.
Believe it or not it started off as one screencap, but then his face was just too darn photogenic to stop. Joonni knows how to be unbiased, but I seem to be missing that objectivity gene. One day LMH is going to look back on his career and go “I got really lucky with BOF, then I did pretty well on City Hunter, but when it comes to Faith, I knocked it out of the park.” This is going to be one of his career highs that he can look back on with pride – forget the ratings cuz the fervor of his online fans more than compensates for it.
You would think after all the great dramas I recapped that I would be used to saying goodbye to the ones I loved, but you would be wrong. It just gets harder and never easier. Letting go of something that brought you so much joy isn’t easy for most people and kdramas that stick with you just stays with you. If you don’t believe me you should check out the soompi threads for dramas that ended months ago cuz they are still more active than the ones currently airing. I’m hoping for the same outcome for the Faith thread. That’s just what happens when you love a show so much you find it difficult to walk away.
With everything that has already been said or speculated about the final two episodes, I just wanted to reflect back on some of my favorite scenes so I made these collages. As I put them together, I realized there were some I never commented on at the time or discovered something new to say about them now. In that scene where Young came back from the brink of death, I would like to think he hung on for her. He knew she couldn’t live with his death on her hands so he came back for her and to keep her alive. Not just to protect her or keep his promise, but to somehow make it up to her for allowing her to stab him in the first place. After Eun Soo and the woodalchi were injured by the flute, Young walked over and wiped the blood off her ears. I thought at first he was just being considerate wiping off the blood, but now I realize it could have been for another reason. He belongs in this world and knows how things have to be, but she is not from around here and he just didn’t like the sight of blood on her. It’s one thing to get his hands bloody to keep the king or Eun Soo alive, but it’s a whole other story to ask her to get used to this way of life. He wants to keep her intact the way he found her so he can take her back to her world where she doesn’t have to live like this – a place where you don’t get used to bloodshed. What he never counted on as we recently saw was that for his sake – just to be with him, she was willing to adjust to living in this world. Another scene that stayed with me was when he asked if she had lost her ability to smile. It was heart breaking to hear the way he asked that – sort of like he didn’t have the right to ask after all that he put her through, but he still felt compelled to do so out of care and concern. I put their first hug and their most recent one to compare. It sort of felt like the first time he hugged her – it was uncertain and unfamiliar – as if it had been a very long time since he has done this and sort of forgot how. But now he has done it so often that when he clings, it’s with more purpose and determination to hold fast. The awkwardness is gone and replaced with comfort and security. Pretty sure a hug from her would reassure him now more than any words could convey. As for that scene we saw in her flashback where she held an unconscious Young in her arms and kissed his forehead, I am still hoping by preventing him from falling into that trap, she precluded that from happening at all.
I haven’t been part of the speculation about the ending till now. From what I have seen so far and the bread crumbs that have been dropped along the way, I can tell which direction the writer is going, but I sort of dreaded it. I sort of feel like whatever kind of ending we get, we might have issues with it if it doesn’t make perfect sense. Only problem with that is this has been a fantasy drama from the onset so looking for clear cut answers now would be asking the show to break character. Something I am not willing to ask since I love what they gave us so far.
Ah, our penultimate episode. In contrast to the anxiety I felt before I went to sleep last night, I feel very calm right now because I think the series will end happily. Ki Chul has slowly been losing his effectiveness as a villain for me so I considered Eun-soo’s poisoning to be the biggest obstacle to Young and Eun-soo’s happiness. With Eun-soo healed now (or at least as I can surmise from the final scene), Young and Eun-soo have a high chance at happiness and I am thrilled.
I guess this is the last we will hear of Deok Heung, Son Yoo, and his henchmen. While I am so glad I don’t have to see his smug little face again, I’m disappointed that Deok Heung didn’t get what he deserved- a real beat-down from Young and Eun-soo. I guess the writer couldn’t kill him off because she has to maintain some historical accuracy but man, did I wish for it. As for Son Yoo’s exit, I am a little concerned because I thought he would play some part in explaining Eun-soo’s time-travel. At first I thought the only thing he knew was about his great-great-grandfather’s journal but then he also had the pocket-watch. I would have brushed it off as Son Yoo simply carrying it around as a relic from his ancestor but then Son Yoo seemed to be able to read the watch. So with Son Yoo’s exit from the story, I fear that we will be left with a lot of unanswered questions about the whole time-traveling arc, especially with only one episode left.
Both the writing and directing were in a incredible rush today so we got an episode that went by even faster than the last and I didn’t think that it could be possible. We had the same problem today that has plagued this drama since the beginning- the rapid and awkwardly paced cuts. It also seems the director didn’t have enough time to coach his actors to not overact when they are giving reactions to a serious scene because I found myself laughing a bit instead of feeling their fear. I’m also seeing Writer Song take some shortcuts in explaining Eun-soo’s story, which makes me once again worry about how she is going to answer all the questions. For example, when Eun-soo says to Young that she might end up wandering a strange world because she wouldn’t be able to endure being alone once she goes back, we get the hint that Eun-soo has figured out the time-traveling mystery somewhat. But we are still left to wonder if Eun-soo knows just as much as us or if she knows more because we don’t get a sense of Eun-soo’s uncertainty or curiousity in figuring out this mystery. I mean, doesn’t she want to know what the heck is going on? How come we never see how try to work this thing out in her head? This is such a strange and curious aspect of Eun-soo’s story. Why isn’t the writer telling us more?
While I find the solution to Eun-soo’s poison a little too simple and awkwardly executed in terms of writing after all the drama that was built around it, I still love how the solution lay in Eun-soo’s courage and agency. What I mean by better execution in writing is perhaps Writer Song should have given Eun-soo more knowledge about how this homeopathic treatment works or given a chance for Eun-soo to convince the viewers too that she isn’t just foolishly risking it all because I know many viewers might think that. This is what I meant when I wrote in the other post about the flaws in this drama. Writer Song leaves too many holes open for people to get fully on board with the dramatic tension of people’s action, especially when it comes to a matter of life or death. To get back to the point of why I still love this solution, it is because Eun-soo wasn’t the damsel in distress who needed the hero to save her. She stayed true to her character and held onto that last hope to survive. It’s really refreshing to see such a gusty woman. I love how the answer to her problems ultimately lies in her choice and not in anyone else.
It’s interesting to think that both Young and Ki Chul’s disorder have something to do with the heart, rather than an physical problem. Ki Chul’s illness seems to arise from the fact that he has so much, yet still wants more. His greed and inability to be satisfied makes him constantly hunger for more, despite all the power and riches he has. Young, on the other hand, has lived a life of sacrifice and duty for others without expecting anything in return. He didn’t even keep track of the stipend the country was paying him for his service. His heart and body is not weighed down by greed but the weight of death and fear of losing Eun-soo- by things that have real consequence to a life of fulfillment and happiness.
Oh dear, now being reminded that tomorrow is going to be the last episode, ever, my shoulders are all tense again and my eyes are teary. Breathe, Joonni, breathe.