This is by far the most frustrating episode. (So the recap will be proportionally shorter.)
It starts with Chang Whui contemplating his loss of entitlement and the success at taking away the position of the king from the previous, miserably failed but rightful king. Chang Whui decides to hush up the devious political plot aroused by his mother and obtain power with his own means.
He calls for an emergency inauguration in the middle of the night, overturning his earlier promise of allowing peasants to witness the whole process. He appoints important positions to nobles complying to Grandpa Ryu’s repeated suggestion. This hasty appointment completely positions himself in the conflicting middle ground of the nobles and the peasants because while he is willing to rule for the peasants, his entire court is composed of the nobles with self-benefiting opinions. Not good. Not only that, he calls for Enok, gives her no choice but to stay by his side until death. If he were to die, she would be expected to die with him. The perceptive, kind, and understanding Chang Whui who’s always given Enok enough freedom to do what she wills is gone.
Enok once again doubts her ability to become a good queen. Lady Noh reminds her Chang Whui has been oppressed his whole life, her one great regret is for him to be incandescently happy. That would be for Enok to fulfill. She also reminds Enok that Chang Whui has been willingly standing by her side in times of difficulty, it’s her time to return the kindness.
Chang Whui goes to meet with his brother, who tries to demeaning Chang Whui and sinisterly hints for the possibility of Chang Whui following his path to insanity. Chang Whui snaps back that he is stronger and will definitely not go crazy. Chang Whui then sends the king away for confinement but secretly ordering the guards to drop off the king in the village of the ghost women while notifying the villagers…
You guessed it, once the villagers hear of the previous king’s arrival, they rush out to release their dissatisfactions towards the king’s unjust ruling. Before his death, Kwang Whui reaches an epiphany of his life’s mistakes while looking up a beautiful forest of blossoming peach tress..
Gil Dong hears of Chang Whui’s problematic appointment of government officials, goes and sees Chang Whui and bluntly points out the problems associated with the appointment. Chang Whui hoaxes Gil Dong into becoming the Minister of War in reply.
So Gil Dong becomes the minister of war and brings out a reform that excites the peasants but infuriates the nobles, putting Chang Whui in an awkward position. Gil Dong grabs hedonistic nobles and force them to undergo physical training as well as confiscating possessions from dishonest merchants. After a set of round about actions, Gil Dong returns to the king to resign his position. He apologizes for causing Chang Whui trouble but also gets his point across that reform can take shape in any minor areas.
Everyone’s been busy with their own lives, Eun Hye is busy executing her plot. She completes a collection of stories of Gil Dong’s heroic act and ends with Gil Dong becoming the king. She widely distribute the book to arouse uneasiness in the nobles as well as the king so that actions against Gil Dong will be put into work. She hopes to use his death to end her misery of unrequited love.
The King asks to see Gil Dong, in a series of argument, Gil Dong once again expresses his view that the monarchy where the king is determined by birth is not a beneficial system. He believes, instead, the people should have a right to choose the king. This opinion has a not small impact on Chang Whui. His entitlement to the throne is once again put in question. However the course of events has deeply probed Chang Whui’s pessimistic side, he fails to find the encouragement in Gil Dong’s words that he is the kind of king selected by the people.
Enok whose worried about Gil Dong sees Chang Whui to ask for Gil Dong’s whereabouts. (Duh, that’s all she spends time thinking about.) She raises the doubt that if she were to be queen and her child turns out to be as dense as her, would it still be alright to allow that kind of king to rule the entire country. Chang Whui is incensed by the similarity of thought, hence unbreakable bond between Gil Dong and Enok. But, good point raised.
After some contemplation, Chang Whui goes to see Gil Dong, hoping to reach a compromise. Gil Dong absolutely refuses to stop arousing the peasant to openly oppose the nobles. In a scene or two, we see peasants openly attacking the nobles without any proper cause. Gil Dong’s originally good intension seems to take a turn itself to instigate instability. After all, in order not to disrupt the equilibrium of nature changes should be implemented little by little. With Gil Dong’s idealism and Chang Whui’s realism, a war seems inevitable.
Chang Whui returns, frees Enok from the marriage obligation so she can once again be herself. He tells her he decides that she isn’t bright enough for a queen in order to lessen her sense of guilt towards him, if any. Once free from the obligation, Enok’s first urge is to run to Gil Dong. (Love sure is greater than friendship. Because apparently for Enok, what Chang Whui is feeling and going through is totally incompatible with that of Gil Dong’s. Not to mention the feeble existence of the smallest guilt.)
Lady Noh and Grandpa Ryu both attempt to stop Enok, warning her that this is a trap, the king is determined to siege Gil Dong and end his life there. Of course she will find her ways to run to Gil Dong, especially now that she knows he’s in danger.
The episode ends with the beginning of a war.
How is everything going to wrap up without being too hasty in episode 24? We’ll find out next Wednesday night on any major broadcasting websites.