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

Janggeum’s Dream: Episode 23 Commentary

Bad Harvest

Collage of Janggeum's Dream screenshots.

Judging by the snow and the season for harvest, Janggeum and company must have been travelling for a long time. The various weathers shows during their travels put winter near the end, though, which makes it appear to be spring in the following scenes. Would there be a harvest in the spring, or not until autumn?

Both Yeonsaeng and Janggeum are being as studious as possible, taking notes on every thing possible. Hopefully they don’t run out of paper, as the more books they have to buy, the more they have to carry. I’m curious to know what they’re writing with. Certainly it’s not thin brushes, is it? If they’re using pencils, what do the pencils use to write? Lead? Charcoal?

The girls should co-author their own book about what they learned about planting, growing, harvesting, and preparing different kinds of food. In an age where there is no printing press, where the only means of copying a book is to do so by hand, one written letter at a time, the book could become very valuable. The information could even be an asset to the royal palace, a special book in the palace library for upper court ladies to refer to.

It seemed a bit early for Changi to return in this episode, but the number of episodes remaining was too few to hold off on her return for another episode. Showing the girls as travelling for perhaps the better part of a year is a good compromise. The girls get an amazing amount of experience, their reunion with Changi is that much more heartfelt, and things don’t feel rushed in bringing them back together.

Learning Changi to be the daughter of a government official didn’t seem out of place, as seeing her father shortly before, I was reminded of Changi. He has the rounded face, and the amazingly-pale skin shared by his daughter.

With the buckwheat found, Changi’s hometown will be saved. When the rice was taken, I had a feeling Jeong-ho would get involved in some way, and king Jungjong is making sure of that. The next episode will probably resolve who the “ghost” is, after learning who the figure in the buckwheat field is (perhaps the old woman? Nah), and of course Jeong-ho will make his appearance. This could lead to Jeong-ho leading the group back to the royal palace, Jeong-ho able to inform the king of the group’s efforts to end the starvation in Jeolla-do.

Certainly Yu returned home long ago, as he does have all those crops and animals to watch over. His leaving the girls behind allowed them to travel a lot more on their own, deciding their own path to take. Meanwhile, back at the palace, court lady Choe has a lot to learn. Perhaps Court Granny has learning to do, as well. Han has a stronger connection with the people of the land, and the compassionate Jungjong wants to embrace a closeness with his people. He cannot eat a grand meal while his people are suffering, and he’ll do what it takes to get food to them.

Sending Jeong-ho out to stop bandits is about all Jungjong can do, unfortunately. Changi’s father, on the other hand, is seen out helping the farmers. Maybe he was a farmer himself before becoming the town’s governor.

Unlike her aunt, Geum-young knows Janggeum must have a reason for her travels. Although Geum-young may have learned how to prepare foods, memorizing many things, she’ll be far behind Janggeum when it comes to in-depth knowledge. Not only that, but Janggeum is gaining many experiences which will impact her cooking for life.

With as long as they’ve been travelling, there’s no way Suro and Dongi can still have their jobs, right? Maybe Jeong-ho will try and cover for them somehow.

The dark figure in the light can only be Yu. His hair in a braided ponytail, his feet up over his head, can he really still be on his quest? What of his crops and animals? Does he have help to watch over them for a year during his absence? This would also account for the man who recently went in and never came out again.

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