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

Janggeum’s Dream: Episode 18 Commentary

The Defeat of the Assassins

Collage of Janggeum's Dream screenshots.

With the finish of this episode, it feels almost as if the series has come to an end. However, Janggeum and Geum-young have not yet reached their goals, a shared goal which only one can attain.

I’m confident we’ll not learn the reasons for Yeonsaeng and Yeong-ro becoming court ladies, one only really good at slicing and dicing food, the other good only at taking from others to make her own dish. Certainly those two have come a long way, even if they did miss a large portion of their lessons while away at Jeju Island.

The elder lord finally gets a spoken name, Jeong Eunuch. He made the age-old mistake of being too eager and too careless. If you’re going to have so many hostages, even if you think they don’t know they’re hostages, at least keep an eye on them. The black-haired assassin only heard Janggeum tell Jeong-ho about Blue Butterfly’s tattoo, so he foolishly didn’t realize Janggeum may recognize him. There’s another mistake made. On top of this, they relied on the Bungling Duo to guard Jeong-ho, Haeya, and Haeya’s father. In hindsight, it was one mistake after another. This skips mention of the obvious mistake, of course, Eunuch mentioning the assassins.

Another name given is Min Nain, the assistant court lady from the first episode. She’s been seen in the background, and she’s probably along with the group, alongside Eun, because Choe and Han are each in a position leaving them unable to attend the travel.

After seeing the girls in their court lady outfits so much, it’s nice to see their civillian clothes again, as most of these outfits were only seen in one or two early episodes, back when I was learning who was who, and trying to remember all the names being tossed around, while thinking, “Gosh, Korean sure sounds funny.” By now, the names are easy enough (and I do know their proper spelling, even if I write Changi and Geum-young rather than a more proper Chang-I and Geum-yeong, the latter pronouced more like Keum-yeong), and the language sounds familiar. I think I may have picked up more words than I realize. I may not always know what they mean in English, but I get a good context-based feel for it.

Not only Nain, but Jangho gets another role. She’s had more roles and more lines than Nain, but is still very much a background character. Up through now, Danny’s had a role of sheer pointlessness, and Tayo, Tayo’s role has been pointless as well. Jangho on the other hand has had useful bit parts, and now she’s really had her time to shine.

Hopefully things will work out for Haeya. She talks about the blue butterfly tattoo being a mark of her family, but it must be a secret, for Janggeum’s mention of the butterfly tattoo to not bring Haeya to Jeong-ho’s mind that night. It’s interesting that she would have her “assassin name” based on this, but Eunuch must have known about the tattoo, and Haeya’s family. He is, after all, not only older than Haeya, but obviously older than her father. Chances are he’s been with the royal palace a long time. Too bad he chose to try to become powerful so late in his life.

Back to Haeya, she put the king’s life in danger twice (in the forest, and with the parsley). She saved his life twice as well. First was to capture Eunuch and get the assassins to drop their weapons. Second was to take the hit from the poisoned dart, which might have been enough to kill King Jungjong in his current state of illness. As Jeong-ho said, the palace cannot forgive Haeya’s actions against the king, for that would set a precident saying anyone attempting to murder the king need only turn around and save him to be pardoned.

In the first episode, Janggeum is shown with amazing physical ability in catching the food when Dongi trips over Mongmong, but this doesn’t really carry over to any later episodes. Dongi also shows good ability as he runs Janggeum in the cart all the way to the castle. He may just have the making of a soldier yet, being able to barely keep up with Jeong-ho and Suro who’re on horseback. Too bad about his first major battle ending so soon for him. Even Jangho faired better.

Being the neice of a high status court lady, as well as her mother possibly being a high status court lady, it’s natural for Geum-young to have been to Onyang Winter Palace at least a few times, so she’s able to corroborate Janggeum’s words that something is not right. Just as Janggeum couldn’t have learned the Pot dish without help from Geum-young in collecting ingredients, Geum-young plays a vital role in Jeong-ho finding them (a role following after Janggeum’s informing Suro). Now, why is it the “winter” palace? Is it only used in the winter, or is it simply popular in the winter due to its hot springs?

With the assassins out of the way, there’s plenty of room left for a few more incidents, leading up to Janggeum’s final victory.

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