This is a episode commentary. It is intended for someone who has seen this episode, and will contain episode spoilers.

Janggeum’s Dream: Episode 5 Commentary

Level-Up Test

Collage of Janggeum's Dream screenshots.

A number of things were revealed this episode. The queen is still alive. The assassins must have killed the king, and assuming the queen cannot rule alone, her son became the next king, King Jungjong.

The lady I thought to maybe be the female assassin with the butterfly tattoo, but then decided against, is actually a detective. Fancy that! This explains her sneaking around, and watching over Janggeum, Yeonsaeng, and Geum-young in the forest, as well as helping Jeong-ho locate the true source of the fire.

No matter how strict she may be, and no matter how much she may follow rules and tradition, the teacher is okay by me. Actually, to suggest for Janggeum to take the test may very well be the first time the teacher (whose name I seem to have misplaced) has tried to stretch the rules.

Speaking of names, I should have taken more proper note of the hungry boy’s name. Oh, here it is: Jisung. I don’t imagine Jisung will have any big part beyond his entrance episode, but he’s sure to make many more appearances in the background, with various lines while Soo-ro is around.

Obviously Geum-young’s purple-haired aunt (we’ll say “name pending”, as I don’t recall it…) wasn’t expecting to see the return of Janggeum. The question is: will she eventually work with less-than-nice people to keep Janggeum out of the way, so Geum-young can level-up above Janggeum?

I’ve said before that Yeongro must have something to bring to the kitchen table when it comes to skills, but I’m waiting to see what her comeuppance will be. She lacks the skill to get through the test without cheating (and how unfortunate for Changi’s brilliant plan to backfire in such a way, which took me by suprise). Even if Yeongro made it to the end, she would have failed the water test, a test which the purple-haired court lady may have carefully selected the waters for to ensure Janggeum would fail the final bowl.

I’m really liking the braided hairstyle for the court ladies, with the braided hair on either side of the head. It’s a good look, but I am left to wonder how much time is spent on hair-braiding, and how often ones hair is braided. Is it daily? Weekly?

When it came to the gelatin test, I should have known Janggeum would pass. She had to pass, so she could take part in the level-up test. Then something bad can happen. The best part had to be Janggeum herself believing she failed, as she was blindfolded and unable to see the last piece was actually two stuck together. The elder court lady probably saw it be cut while no one else paid enough attention. That’s one impressive elder court lady. I think I’ll call her Court Granny (with all due respect, of course!)

Geum-young is trying to carry on her family’s tradition. Janggeum is trying to follow her dream, which a shared dream with her passed-on mother. Yeonsaeng and Changi’s reasons are unknown. While I’m eager to learn more about Yeonsaeng, I may actually be more interested to learn why Yeongro became a court lady. If she has to swipe and cheat her way through, how far does she really expect to get?

During the test, I’ve found I take for granted Japanese signs I can read and signs with English subtitles in Japanese animation. Not only can I not read the Korean test answers very well, but a lot of the Korean letters are 100% the same as Japanese letters, causing my mind to misread the shapes of the letters as Japanese.

The girl who won’t show her paper, she wrote “개밥” (kaebap), which is “dog food”. This is why the girls were laughing. The correct answer was “비빔밥” (Bibimbap), which is boiled rice with assorted items added. The teacher listed “seasoned vegetables and some meat” with “egg” and “fish” on it. She calls it Goldongban (골동반). Since 밥 (bap) is “rice”, does this mean Korean dogfood uses rice as a main ingredient?

Another unexpected item: Jangho’s a girl. Maybe I won’t get her confused with Jeong-ho after all?

The queen is a good person. I like her decision for both of the girls to pass, and also her quick thinking when told only one may pass. The next episode should be a big one, especially considering what the Bungling Duo (as I’ll call those two ninjas) did to Janggeum’s team’s preparation room.

I was sure Janggeum and Geum-young would be sharing a Nancho room. If there are two to a room, then how does this work? Can it be that the person leveling-up chooses their room partner? Or do they level-up one at a time? The latter could be the case, with tradition stating only one at a time can level-up. Court Granny may have bent the rules enough to let Janggeum compete, but elevation from Maewha to Nancho is a whole other story.

With Yeongro hoping to see Janggeum out of the running, will Eunbee be able to stay the silent lackey for long? How will this series treat the lesser characters such as her? I continue to eagerly await seeing the next episode.

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