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

Janggeum’s Dream: Episode 36 Commentary

Chrysanthemum Bride

Collage of Janggeum's Dream screenshots.

I gather a lot happened this episode, as I have more questions than answers. Such is the peril of watching a Korean-language series with near-zero understanding of the language.

Continuing from the lesson plan Lady Eun gave prior, this episode did involve flowers after all. I gather the test involved using flowers, or rather a flower-based design, to create a presentable item able to be used at a royal meal. Why Chang-I feels she’s prepared enough to use the morning to catch up on sleep, and what the bad-smelling concoction are, I won’t know until a DVD box set comes out with English subtitles.

The line the apprentices formed could have been to get rolls of silk. With a limited supply, the girls had to find other means, with Yeong-ro and Eunbee using some of their belongings to buy silk from someone else. They must have bought the only amount the lady had, as Janggeum and Yeonsaeng are out of luck when they check with the same lady.

Lady Choe gives Geum-yeong a package, an item wrapped in silk perhaps. Geum-yeong is able to use the cloth for her presentation, but what about the contents of the package? Are they simply unimportant? Either way, she didn’t look very happy after receiving the material.

With the ninja watching over Yeonsaeng, Suro, and Dong-I, I’m left wondering if Suro really was the one who delivered the silk Chang-I used, or if the ninja provided it. If the silk was something which shouldn’t have been cut up and used for the presentation, then this could explain Nain punishing Chang-I and Yeonsaeng. I imagine Chang-I remarking on the cloth being too small to use for making anything, when she takes it from Yeonsaeng. If this item isn’t what Nain gets after them for, then I have no idea what they were in trouble over. Maybe the bowl of bad-smelling stuff Chang-I had, and the vegetables Yeonsaeng used, were not supposed to leave the royal kitchen? And what about the vegetables Dong-I carried for Yeonsaeng? She just leaves, leaving Dong-I holding them. Maybe he knows where they go?

Why does Janggeum avoid seeing Lady Han this time around? Does she decide not to burden Lady Han with her own troubles? How lucky for flower petals to blow by when they did; I take it this is the point when she gets her inspiration. Perhaps a flower arrangement anyone can enjoy, including a person eating a single bowl of rice alone.

Out of the different items the girls made, Yeonsaeng’s is not only creative, but makes use of her slicing talent, and shows a lot of skill to put everything together. Even Lady Choe seems impressed by the result. Yeong-ro, on the other hand, is faced with a challenge she can’t cheat her way through, and it shows. Would she still be apricot class had she not helped Geum-yeong back on Jeju Island?

Geum-yeong’s design may have been enough to dazzle the other students, and impress the teachers as well, but Janggeum had to have gotten a good amount of extra points for creativity and simplicity. The spark of rivalry looks to have returned in Geum-yeong. She and Janggeum haven’t been see around together lately, either.

For what reason is Janggeum taking a package to Sin-ssi? Is it her own choice, or was she asked to? And are there any problems with someone meeting with Sin-ssi after what happened prior with the young queen, and the calling cards in Sin-ssi’s home? Janggeum doesn’t look very happy to have to take the package, although she does have a good time along the way. Janggeum is obviously worried about how late she is staying at Sin-ssi’s house. It’d be even worse if she wasn’t supposed to be there, or wasn’t supposed to say she went there.

Even though I’m not a fan of Yeong-ro, Chang-I could have at least let her have her victory in the tossing game. She does get her revenge, Yeong-ro, when Lady Eun calls the girls to assemble, and Yeong-ro points out the missing Janggeum.

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