Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 8 & 9 Recap
It’s hitting the fan now! In Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 8 & 9, Hae-Soo decides to help 4th Prince change his fate only to regret the path she realizes she’s set him on. Read on for all the squeeing and tears over the latest episodes of Scarlet Heart Ryeo…
Let It Rain
After 10th Prince’s birthday fiasco, Hae-Soo tries to regain 4th Prince’s friendship but he ignores her thinking that she merely pities him for his scar. 8th Prince tells Hae-Soo that he’s going to set her free from her service in the palace at the rain ritual. If it rains, the king chooses one benevolent act – forgiving a prisoner, officiating a marriage, or releasing a court lady from service. 8th Prince plans to ask for Hae-Soo’s freedom.
Because of the king’s ill health, he decides to randomly choose one of his sons to lead the rain ritual. It’s both an advantageous and dangerous responsibility. If rain comes, the prince will receive great commendation. If he doesn’t, the citizens could turn on the prince for failing to end the drought. To everyone’s surprise, 4th Prince’s name is chosen.
4th Prince attempts to carry out the rain ritual but the crowds turn violent on him, enraged that a masked “monster” was chosen. He’s devastated by the crowd’s reaction and the piteous looks of his family (and Hae-Soo). He runs off and sulks in the palace. Hae-Soo decides to help 4th Prince. Using her former skills as a make-up artist, she covers up his scar. He attempts the rain ritual again and this time, the crowds cheer him on. His family is shocked to see his un-scarred face (especially his evil mother). 8th Prince notices the looks between Hae-Soo and 4th Prince for the first time.
Just as the 4th Prince starts the ritual, the rain falls! Everyone celebrates but Hae-Soo is left stunned. She finally remembers history. The 4th Prince is Gwangjong, the king who slaughtered his brothers for the throne.
Hae-Soo is physically distraught, realizing that even her lover 8th Prince is in danger from him. She stumbles into 4th Prince later and tries to conceal her newfound terror of him. Listening to his excited talk of how his family members are starting to accept him, Hae-Soo plans in her mind to stay by his side and somehow, if at all possible, change history by helping him stay on good terms with his family.
The king orders 10th Prince to marry a general’s daughter, who secretly has a crush on him. But 10th Prince is devastated. Hae-Soo encourages him to do what’s expected of him and acknowledges that she knew he liked her. Sadly, the wedding also means that the king won’t be releasing any court ladies from the palace.
Hae-Soo continues to have horrible visions of 4th Prince slaughtering her friends, the princes. She begs 8th Prince to stay far away from 4th Prince. 4th Prince is surprised by his mother’s sudden kindness at dinner to him – until she asks him to assassinate the Crown Prince. Disgusted and hurt, 4th Prince leaves and stumbles upon Hae-Soo. She reacts badly, spurting out that she’s terrified of him. He begs her not to leave him like the others and kisses her against her will.
Thoughts and Feels
Man, what an intense and awesome ride! I mean as much as I’ve been loving the show, Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 8 & 9 felt like the real beginning of everything with the story falling effortlessly into place. We’re at the meat and heart of the story and I’m seriously loving all of this. (LOVING IT!!!!!)
These episodes were chock full of so much emotion, growth and excitement. There were so many great scenes but the rain ritual!! What a brilliant backdrop that led to such an epic climax at the end of episode 8! There’s so much depth to what leading the rain ritual represents – either a chance to gain the favor of the king and the people if you’re lucky enough that it rains, or to be the scapegoat sacrificed to the mobs if it fails.
It was heartbreaking watching 4th Prince get chosen, his initial excitement and unease, only to be pelted with stones and mud by the mob because of his scarred face. I’ve always loved actor Lee Joon-Ki but this show has made me acutely aware of how powerful his acting is. The vulnerability just in his eyes alone – his pain and acute loneliness as his own family looks at him with pity or disinterest – it gets me so hard every time. Just love him already, people!!
Also, I have to give a shout-out to my other favorite prince beside the leads – 13th Prince Baek-Hyun. The wonderful budding brother relationship between him and 4th Prince is just awesome. I love how shy and apologetic he was about 4th Prince’s unmasking at the birthday party, as he deeply cares about his older brother’s feelings. I also love the few scenes he has with Hae-Soo. Their friendship feels totally natural and sweet.
I’m still swooning over that romantic scene when Hae-Soo covered 4th Prince’s scar!! Oh, my word! Everything about that scene from her removing his mask to when she gently strokes his scar was just dripping with tenderness. Her bittersweet statement about how unfair it is that his life has been so troubled over a scar that’s not that big melted me into a puddle. Not to mention, 4th Prince opening his heart, trusting someone like that, for the first time in his life.
Which I think really explains and wonderfully contrasts the final scene in episode 9. I’m no fan of forced kisses (it’s just not romantic to me) but I can see why and where 4th Prince is coming from when he kissed Hae-Soo (not that it makes it okay of course). In the scene when she covered his scar, Hae-Soo tells 4th Prince she has no fear of him and promises that if he trusts her, she won’t be the first one to betray that trust. Thus 4th Prince was moved by fear when he saw Hae-Soo suddenly act like he was a monster just like his mother and family always has. He desperately kissed her (obviously not the best move) because he realized he was losing her.
I always love the theoretical and moral questions that time traveling brings. It was heartbreaking to see Hae-Soo fight a losing battle against the realization that she can’t make the world what she wants it to be, though any time traveler would wonder if that was a possibility. Interestingly, I think Hae-Soo is actually an unintentional catalyst who’s bringing that future about.
Not only did she help 4th Prince gain recognition from his king and family for the rain ritual, but she’s the one warning 8th Prince of 4th Prince. While she clearly thinks she’s helping him avoid danger, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s awakening him to the reality that 4th Prince is his competition – not only in the royal palace but for Hae-Soo’s heart. I don’t know if my heart can handle watching the two princes I love best turn on each other for the love of Hae-Soo… except I can’t wait to watch it unfold!
Scarlet Heart Ryeo is available to watch on Dramafever! New episodes are available on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Photos: Dramafever and SBS
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