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

Janggeum’s Dream: Episode 32 Commentary

Great Detective Janggeum

Collage of Janggeum's Dream screenshots.

A bit of difference in deja vu makes this episode a bit odd, but maybe that’s because I can’t understand what anyone’s saying. Back when Jungjong was poisoned, Lady Han found herself in prison for it. This time around, she has to leave the palace. This is after copies of the calling card are found with Sin-ssi, whose punishment didn’t show up.

Whoever the person is who poisoned the dish, I doubt it’s Hwan. If Lady Choe is working with her brother Pansul who’s in contact with an unknown person (obviously Hwan) and the parents (right?) of the now-poisoned visitor, then Hwan being the one to use the poison doesn’t add up. Still, it was someone who knew which dish and chair were Jang Gyeong’s.

The royal visitor whom I’ve referred to as a young queen, and by the name “Jang Gyeong”, sounds to be repeatedly called “Jungjong Ma-ma”. Perhaps she has a relation to King Jungjong. All I know is this: hearing the elder Court Lady call out “mama” to the young aristocrat added unfortunate humor to a scene where the latter is collapsing due to poisoning.

Once again, Suro is made to be extreme, and this time it’s only him and Dong-I (until the two guards investigate the ruckus). Extremely loud, extreme poses, extreme hair standing up and out. I miss the old Suro. Way to go and ruin a favorite character.

Poor Suro, Jeong-ho and Jangho don’t believe him one bit about his fantastic story about a chance against an army of ninja assassins. At least, that’s how I pictured the conversation between the two after the assassin’s escape. That’s easy to do when one has no idea what’s being said, although I have to be careful not to miss any names spoken.

Too bad Yeonsaeng didn’t question the smell of the poisoned dish. Maybe someone would have confirmed the scent was a little off, and they could have called in an herbal specialist. What’s the standard protocol for an orchid concerned about the smell of a dish? Even if it weren’t investigated, they could have decided the dish might not be fresh. This could lead to giving it a taste, or simply tossing it and replacing it.

Jang Gyeong must really enjoy the flavors of foods to take such small bites. Or perhaps she doesn’t have any other plans for the day. Do people with nothing else to do often nibble at their food, anything to pass the time away? I suppose it’s either that, or listen to boring stories from Court Granny. With all due respect, of course. I’m sure I’d enjoy her stories (if I understood them), but Jang Gyeong’s from a younger generation. (We’ll set aside that she was born about 500 years before I was.)

My best guess as to what Jang Gyeong said before Lady Han and Janggeum was deeply rooted in being disapproving of something the two had to do with. If she’s close with Geum-yeong’s family in some way, this would make sense. Anything to diminish the two in the eyes of the uppers, so Lady Choe and Geum-yeong look good. Merit? What’s that, and why should Lady Choe bother with it?

Another episode, another fit of anger from Jungjong. This episode brings evidence of Sin-ssi’s hand in things, which once again goes to show the young king how much he can trust no one. Sure, Sin-ssi was obviously framed, and I don’t know if there’s any motive, but Jungjong can still use it as an excuse. At least Lady Han and Janggeum have a motive, as Jang Gyeong hasn’t exactly been a solid fan of their cooking.

As much as Lady Han is starting to be taken away by security, she must be on a first-name basis with them. Back when I first translated this episode’s title, I was afraid there’d be an extra-elaborate showing with Janggeum going all-out to try and discover who is responsible for the poisoning, or at least to clear Lady Han’s name. Thankfully, this isn’t how things played out.

I am curious as to why Sin-ssi’s house was checked for clues. When Jungjong puts a hand to his forehead, I can only hear him say, “D’oh! The fool, she got caught!”

After Janggeum finds the dropped calling card, Lady Choe arrives with Geum-yeong and Yeong-ro. Yeong-ro looks smug as ever, but why does Geum-yeong look so sad? She can’t know something about what happened to Jang Gyeong (other than what anyone else knows). It may be she knows her aunt and uncle are plotting against Janggeum, or she might know Lady Choe plans this use the absence of Lady Han in her own favor.

Thankfully Yu has no problem with the girls being around, just so long as they’re not tagging along on a journey. I wouldn’t mind knowing what the book is Court Granny had the girls deliver to him. Is it filled with knowledge, or is it blank, waiting for him to write information the palace will use for generations?

I may not know what Yu said about the paper (not for lack of wanting to, upon seeing the girls’ reactions at times), but Janggeum found the paper without looking for it, and probably put two and two together leading to investigating the bowl. I don’t know where things will go from here, but the bowl should give Jeong-ho a good start on clearing Lady Han’s name. As for Sin-ssi, I don’t know, but I expect Lady Han to be out of the palace for a while. This will give Lady Choe more time in the spotlight, and as well she’ll be able to push for more high profile jobs for Geum-yeong. At the same time, she can prune back Janggeum’s resumé a little.

Is it just me, or does Dong-I look considerably taller this episode? After the girls leave Yu, and meet with Suro and Dong-I, Dong-I looks as if he could almost be a foot taller than the girls.

Unrelated thought: I only now realized why Yeong-ro had to be sick in a prior episode. This ensured she wouldn’t see Hwan just yet. I knew there had to be a reason.

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