The envelope Yeong-ro had apparently came from Janggeum. For whatever reason, I take it she was due to prepare a meal for the ailing old man, but because she wanted to check up on Sin-ssi (and probably tell her that the criminals had been caught), the task was passed on to Geum-yeong and Yeong-ro.
Because Pansul apparently had planned for Janggeum to have this task, he had tainted food prepared. However, after Janggeum checked that Sin-ssi hadn’t been poisoned as well, it sounds as if Yeong-ro is listing off the names of all the foods she and Geum-yeong prepared. She and Janggeum don’t find anything to stand out, so what exactly happened to the old man? (Maybe the bottle the girl brought in the pour over the dish?) Only Pansul knows for certain, but even Lady Choe’s tears don’t seem to do much to move him. His niece is back in prison as part of a conspiracy against the throne (I think), his own sister is pleaing for him to fess up (I gather), and he’s not sure what he’s going to do next.
When Geum-yeong and Yeong-ro first enter the old man’s kitchen, they give very different appearances of royal apprentice court ladies. Geum-yeong is her normal moping-looking self, and Yeong-ro walks upright and proud. The two young cooks of the kitchen didn’t seem to take any note of this (nor should they have) of course, but what’s it say about the royal kitchen’s cooks if a royal apprentice court lady mopes her way into a kitchen? At least she perks up a little when she looks over the food ingredients from Janggeum and takes out the letter (which she seems to have kept in one of those many inner pockets the royal apprentice court lady hanbok must have). And as Janggeum works hard on her own meal preparations, I gather the flashback scene is of her mother, someone whose face never had a good showing until now.
After everything Yeong-ro goes through in this episode, maybe she’ll have a better appreciation of Janggeum. Janggeum didn’t turn her away once. She and her family went out of their way to help her help Geum-yeong, as well as Suro and Dong-I being there for her when Yeong-ro felt she couldn’t trust Jeong-ho. I just wish I knew what she told Jeong-ho before Suro arrived. She starts by mentioning Janggeum, then goes on about Pansul and Geum-yeong a little, and on for a while from there before returning to Janggeum.
I also get the impression there’s a bit of quick soul-searching and growth for Lady Choe when Jeong-ho and Lady Han are talking with her. I don’t know what the conversation’s about, but I imagine it relates to her and her relations with her family, with her brother and her niece, and which to let take the fall for what’s happened. She’s far from the perfect aunt, and she’s even done a lot of bad things to Geum-yeong, but she’s always had her niece’s best interest in mind, no matter what she did. Well, except for all the times she had been upholding the Choe family’s good name. Come to think of it, this might be the first time she’s doing something for Geum-yeong. Whether Pansul or Geum-yeong gets the blame, the Choe family name takes a hit. Lady Choe can either stand by and do nothing, or she can work to get Pansul to admit to everything, and clear Geum-yeong’s name, so Geum-yeong can be free, and can have a future.
I expect the episode’s actual contents to be vastly different to me once this series gets a DVD release with English subtitles, however.