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

Janggeum’s Dream: Episode 9 Commentary

The Secret of Granny Pot

Collage of Janggeum's Dream screenshots.

The “stone grandfather” statues, warding off evil spirits from the village, may be a piece of Korean history. I may just have to read up on them sometime.

When the old man and Granny Pot are giving directions, I take it they’re speaking either an older dialect of Korean not used much anymore (anymore being the current time of the story), or they may be speaking a regional variation of Korean, whereas the Korean language has been “standardized” in the past decades. This gives me more to read up on sometime. I don’t know how it sounds to Korean listeners, but at least I had the advantage of English subtitles to understand what was being said. While I don’t understand Korean, I could hear that the speech had a different “sound” to it from everything I had heard up to this point, and the looks on the girls faces showed their loss to understand as well. It helped that Janggeum asked if the old man spoke in a Jeju dialect, of course.

I need to be more observant. I didn’t even notice both of the ladies who helped the group were the same lady. Maybe it’s a negative side-effect of looking at the subtitles so much.

The young/old switching of the lady’s face is still a mystery to me. It started when the group arrived, she says. Dongi told Choe about it, but probably told everyone. At one point, the older-looking Granny Pot is with Yeonsaeng, and Yeonsaeng obviously is used to it by then. The only clue thus far is the flies which flew out of Granny Pot’s room when Dongi was looking for something to eat.

Janggeum must have a strong stomach. First the ups and downs of the ship at sea are no problem, then she’s able to drink soup made from spoiled food with no trouble. Well, if everyone liked it before they knew what went into it, then why not after, right?

Everywhere Jeong-ho goes, he’s finding trouble. He’s doing the king’s will, a good idea on Jungjong’s part. Jeong-ho is finding corruption in the government after previously stopping illegal activities at the Daeryuk Inn. It may be a case of Jeong-ho simply doing his job, but hopefully there’ll be a nice reward for him for all the changes he’ll be making.

The old lady may be a bit strange, but I like her. No one can tell her what to do. If the king wants the recipe to be passed on to another, then he can very well ask Granny Pot himself. Then she can tell him no right to his face. Additionally, she can’t be bought. What could she want? She’s an old lady, she has a home. And now, she has clean dishes, a swept yard, clean laundry, etc.

Probably always living in her aunt’s shadow until now, Geum-young is taking the initiative. Even then, her aunt still goes out of her way to help out behind the scenes. Anything it takes, so long as Geum-young wins. Even Granny Pot acknowledges Choe’s impatience.

Helping out so much, Janggeum was sure to win for sincerity. She lost out on that count, of course, because one of the reasons she kept at helping out was to show her sincerity. Geum-young, on the other hand, went out of her way to ensure Janggeum and Yeonsaeng would get better quickly, suprising Yeong-ro to see this, and Choe doesn’t understand the reason behind it. It wasn’t done to prove she can be sincere, it truly was a sincere act. Also, this is something from Geum-young to Janggeum and Yeonsaeng, as the two had helped her in the forest prior while collecting “the taste of nature”.

The watering scene gave a good feel of the amount of time and effort put into it. It wasn’t a few quick scenes with a visible changing of time (such as colors turning reddish as the sun sets). Instead, there’s focus on the repeated tasks. In the end, Suro looks to have been able to keep at it as long as he did because Janggeum kept going. Once she stopped to rest, he was also able to take a break.

The Bumbling Duo are about at Jeju, and Janggeum and Yeonsaeng might just be unknowingly on their way to meet the two. Somehow not knowing how to swim seems to suit Yeonsaeng, and it’s hard to tell if this is simply said in passing to tell more about her to the viewer, or if it’ll come up in the next episode as a problem.

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