Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 4

A HOT, A POT, AND A SCANDALOUS THOT. . .

Okay, make that five scandalous thoughts. But really, who’s counting? I’m too busy squealing at THE HOT. A lot.

(And irate readers, unable to stand the inane wordplay any longer, emerge in droves and proceed to tie thundie into one fat constrictor knot.)

Episode 4 begins innocently enough. Traumatized by the resident thug leader’s threats (“I’m watching every itsy-bitsy thing you do. Better behave or else…”) and with her natural smarts warning her that Sun-joon is said thug leader’s Irritant of the Month and it’s best not to provoke the Sungkyunkwan kingpin, Yoon-hee decides to have a little talk with Sun-joon. Call it a I’ve-come-to-collect-my-dues chat. (Remember how she saved him from being dunked in pee?)

Please move to the west quarters, she pleads. You promised me that you will do whatever I ask of you, so I’m asking you to move there. What is that great conviction that compels you to oppose Ha In-soo to the end? He and the rest don’t care about your lofty principles!

Because they are powerful, I must therefore obey them? I was assigned to those quarters and I’m merely following the rules. Is that so wrong? Anyway, it doesn’t matter to me what they think. What I do care about, Kim Yoon-shik, is what you think.

That last line hangs in the still air of the Sungkyunkwan library like an invisible stalactite, pointed and loaded. The possibilities swirl. What precisely does he mean by that?

Since that fateful day of the preliminary examinations, he has felt a strange pull toward this Kim Yoon-shik, this man who tricked him first and whom he later tricked. He stood up for her before the king; she stood up for him before Ha In-soo. Again and again they had come to each other’s aid, as if decreed to be mutual protectors by unknown forces.

He, of course, has no idea her true identity; she, in turn, has no inkling what he means by his words. All she knows is that the tears spring unexpectedly to her eyes.

“Ranks, positions. They are all unimportant to me. All I want is to finish all that I need to do here in peace. So, please keep your promise to me.”

She does not tell him that her life depends on it. He does not know, not yet, that she’s in Sungkyunkwan under a pretext punishable by death.

Behind a column, barely able to contain their glee and fangs, two sycophants watch the terse exchange. How ingenious of their master to use Yoon-shik to put Sun-joon in his right place! Wait till that stick-in-the mud trots meekly back to the west quarters for Noron offspring. See what lessons they will teach him! But will he really come? Nah, perish the doubts, of course he will. He will not renege on his promise, not when he’s supposedly a man of honor and all.

Over in another room, a man is being groped and his honor as a card-carrying Soron disputed.

“You absolutely detest Noron in every shape and size so how is it possible for you to have spent the night with one Lee Sun-joon, son of the Noron leader?”

Enter first scandalous thought.

Because someone needs to explain to me, pronto, why Gu Yong-ha is pawing at our resident HOT. Does Moon Jae-shin look feverish? Not really, although his face is a little flushed from that liquid he’s guzzling. So why is the resident jester (soon-to-be resident pervert) feeling Jae-shin here and there, and practically inhaling his every breath?

(Because he’s simply a concerned friend, thundie you pervert! How dare you malign him!)


“I’m just observing Lee Sun-joon, just waiting to see how long he will last,” explains The Unruffled One.

“Are you sure, are you positively sure?” cries the PERVERT, hell-bent on undressing Jae-shin. “Don’t you hiccup whenever you are near a woman? You didn’t go hic-hic last night? Let me check your chest to make sure!”

“Are you nuts? This is Sungkyunkwan. Not even a feminine shadow lingers here.”

“Time for class,” snorts The Rebuffed One.

(Heart, be still!)

As our Sungkyunkwan freshmen ready themselves for the first day of class, the king’s courtiers ready themselves for a fresh round of We Don’t Know Anything, Your Majesty. It’s a game of stealth that the left state councilor and the war minister like to play with the king. Today’s round is called We Don’t Know Anything About The Geum Deung Ji Sa, Your Majesty.

(The significance of the Geum Deung Ji Sa was explained by Serendipity in her Episode 3 recap.)

What has triggered today’s game is a red parchment, one of many that had dropped from the skies onto a startled capital. A mysterious archer is assumed to be the bearer of the red and most ominous tidings.

The ones who stole King Yeongjo’s last testament are unscrupulous officials. The ones who refuse to face up to the blood-soaked truth are despicable leaders.

Words of condemnation indeed, but to whom are they directed? Raising his eyes from the glasses perched adorably on his nose, King Jeongjo asks if any of his courtiers are privy to the contents of the missing Geum Deung Ji Sa.

If you, a direct descendant of the late king, do not know the contents, how are we expected to know? Do not blame us, Sire.

(So much disrespect cloaked in supposed deference. But I still like you, Left State Councilor Lee Jung-moo. You hold the patent for HOT. You as well, Your Majesty.)

Sidestepping the innuendos in the councilor’s words, the king orders his war minister to quickly capture the mysterious bearer of the red missives. Drawings of the wanted man’s face are soon dispatched everywhere, although a more unhelpful rendering of a person’s likeness you won’t find. Is there a distinguishing mark or feature, such as a mole or a scar? Nope. Does the face look like everyone else’s on the street were they to don a similar hanky? Yup.

“I’ll have your innards for breakfast if you fail to find the rogue before the royal guards get to him,” barks the war minister to his underlings.

Still smarting from nearly being shot (to death) by the archer of doom, War Minister Ha mutters to himself: “The rogue disappeared into the Sungkyunkwan student quarters. Definitely something fishy going on here…”

As we saw in the previous episode, said Sungkyunkwan compound is of off-limits to all and sundry, even to the guards serving His Excellency, the war minister. Perhaps this (queer) practice is explained by the need to preserve Sungkyunkwan as a hallowed sanctuary of learning. The kingdom’s brightest scholars need quiet and peace, don’t they? Of course they do. After all, today’s class for freshmen is the Analects of Confucius, not some third-rate skit or even a biology lesson!

So why is the teacher, Scholar Jung Yak-yong, preparing a pot to bring to class? And not just any pot, mind you, but one that you use specifically to deposit two kinds of human waste into.

Well, because he is cool, that’s why. Just you wait and see.

Deep in thought (her mind still weighing the implications of Sun-joon’s words in the library?), Yoon-hee is the last one to reach the classroom. That naturally poses a slight problem, because only two seats are left: one next to Sun-joon, the other next to Jae-shin. The second seat, alas, vanishes in the blink of an eye because Jae-shin decides the most comfortable way to learn is to…

…lie down while the teacher is teaching.

That leaves Yoon-hee with only one choice: sit next to Mr. Principled. The expression on her face shows how much she relishes that prospect.

The lesson begins. As the eager students sit upright expectantly (well, except for you-know-who), Scholar Jung hands his pot to the first row of students and tells them to do the necessary (not the pot’s intended purpose, of course!). This will ensure they gain his good favor and not fall foul of the rules for good academic standing, namely:

Three strikes and you are out, forever erased from Sungkyunkwan’s registers.

Since five failures in Scholar Jung’s class equates one strike, the students reluctantly empty their pockets and fingers, dropping nyang and rings into the pot. The disgust on their faces is unmistakable; a corrupt teacher for their first class, what luck!

The three roommates in the east quarters let the pot pass without enriching it further. As usual, Sun-joon’s face is impassive, but don’t expect it to remain blank for long, especially not when you see what is about to unfold…

A magic show! Wow!

Fire, cloth, even something that looks like a lump of edible clay. One after another, and with a mischievous glint in his eyes, our maverick of a teacher pulls them out of the pot. Who knew school would be so much fun?

Everyone claps and cheers, everyone except two people: the one lying horizontal at the back of the classroom, and the one sitting upright in the middle and looking very decidedly unamused. (I swear, though, that I saw a flicker of interest on the latter’s face during the magic show, but it could be just an illusion; the guy is nothing but deadpan.)

Trust Lee Sun-joon to be utterly predictable and to be the one to call a pot a pot.

Aren’t we supposed to be learning the Analects of Confucius? Why are you whiling our time away on mindless Western tricks? Is it because you think the classics are no longer useful?

Oh, you didn’t find the show interesting? Bummer. How about this then? Watch me shatter the pot at the count of three…

The class gasps as the urinal pot, all white and gleaming, crashes to the ground. Lizards on the ceiling scramble for cover. A reposing Moon Jae-shin stirs. Far away, in the students’ respective homes, doting parents beam at the thought of their precious sons studying the classics under the watchful tutelage of a learned and honorable scholar.

Today’s lesson is on the Analects of Confucius, specifically on this adage: A hero is not close-minded, neither is he obstinate and prejudiced. To think that nothing can be learned from the West is an example of that close-mindedness. If you pursue knowledge yet allow that knowledge to constrict you, your lively brain grows rigid and unyielding. As future leaders of this kingdom, you’ve been given the opportunity to study. Your benefactors, the ones feeding you with their toil, are the people; repay them with your diligence and commitment. Strive to create a new Joseon.

That last line strikes a particular chord with Jae-shin. His ears attentive ever since porcelain hit floor in a resounding crash, he finally sits up.

Create a new Joseon? Isn’t that what Soron adherents have been advocating all along? A reformed Joseon–one giving more opportunities to the commonfolks, one respecting their rights and acknowledging their contributions–the kind of Joseon that King Jeongjo wants.

I’ll now announce the results of today’s test. Everyone fails except Lee Sun-joon. You ask me why he passes? Because he’s the only one who questioned the absurdity of today’s lesson.

A student who questions, rather than merely relying on the teacher for answers, is the one who truly learns. Confucius enjoyed lively debates with his students on the state of the world. Likewise, let’s use this term to debate until we bleed. Class is dismissed.

Interesting. Who would have guessed an innocuous-looking pot would usher in a lesson for the ages? Do you see now why it had to occupy a place of honor, right at the start of this recap, between the hot and the scandalous thot?

One unforgettable class down and many more to go. Oh, this is going to be a fabulous term!

Not everyone is feeling chirpy, however. Two students approach Sun-joon after the class and taunt him about using his father’s influence to bribe the teacher. How else to explain why everyone else failed and only he passed?

“I wish I can indeed use my father’s influence so that I don’t have to see the likes of you,” says Sun-joon, rising to his feet and visibly seething. (Remember how much the guy hates corrupt shenanigans? To suggest that he is anything but honorable is bound to get him all riled up. Way to go, Mr. Uptight! I love seeing you express yourself more and more, yes!)

But before the men can come to blows, guess whose passing presence reduces the two instigators into a quivering mess?

Yes, none other than our resident HOT. One glance and a tempest is instantly stilled. Everyone disperses, some with their tails between their legs. Ahn Do-hyun, the overaged student who tried to pass himself off as a Sungkyunkwan teacher in an earlier episode, drags Yoon-hee away to the Joseon version of the modern university bar.

Hmm, apparently there’s just that one Analects of Confucius class for the day. Either the other teachers have gone on strike or Sungkyunkwan sure has a light schedule for its students. Or maybe everyone’s still reeling from that impromptu magic show that the seniors missed, haha.

Anyway, the time is now free for the students to spend at their leisure. Some, like Ahn Do-hyun, have gone off to get drunk. Some, like friendless Sun-joon, trot back to their quarters alone. Still others think climbing a tree might be a very good idea.

(May I pause for a moment to tell you how much I love the following scene? My two favorite HOTs together, trying to outstare and out-glare each other, the sarcastic barbs flying, not one drop of blood shed. A gentlemanly albeit one-sided war of words, I like!)

“Hey, Noron.” The one up on the tree speaks first, startling the walking Sun-joon (and startling me, because I misread the subs as “Hey, Moron”).

Just pick one method. Either deal with things as a normal person or deal with them as a Noron. Why are you at Sungkyunkwan anyway? For knowledge? Ha! You could have hired a tutor. If you’re here, then behave as the other students. They’ve all gone out to the Scholars’ Village for some drinks, why aren’t you with them? Hang out, make friends. That’s what you need to do if you want to be a government official. Stop acting all high and mighty. You talk about despising factions and yet you behave exactly like a Noron. Just quit because it’s confusing me.

Let’s take a few moments to ponder the implications of Jae-shin’s words.

Unlike Ha In-soo who is openly hostile, and Gu Yong-ha who seems two-faced and creepy, and who obviously derives a certain diabolical pleasure from seeing other people squirm, Jae-shin appears to be proffering a genuine piece of well-intentioned advice to Sun-joon.

Moreover, in the earlier scene after class where the two freshmen were ganging up on Sun-joon, Jae-shin stopped the altercation with one glare of death. He could have ignored it or even inflamed it by agreeing with them that Sun-joon had bribed his way into Scholar Jung’s favor. After all, he hated the Noron faction and he knew full well the extent of the Noron leader’s power. Yet he intervened, albeit indirectly, on Sun-joon’s behalf.

No wonder Yong-ha is astonished. Jae-shin actually spent a night in the same room as a Noron? That is a huge deal indeed.

Our man of few words responds:

You don’t seem to suit Sungkyunkwan yourself.

And, this time, the implications of Sun-joon’s words are…?

Jae-shin doesn’t suit Sungkyunkwan because he goes around looking like a hobo half the time, or because he abhors creature comforts and prefers watching the world go by from the vantage point of a tree? Because he rarely attends classes, so much so a new teacher like Scholar Jung is aware that today is a very special day because Moon Jae-shin actually turns up, may the heavens be praised!

Oh, never mind the implications. What’s important is that a verbal duel, consisting of an unequal number of words traded and some friendly advice, draws to a close without any loss of limb or a dip in hotness.

However, if Yoon-hee wants a scapegoat for the scandalous thought that she’ll be thinking later that night (see first image in this recap), she needs to look no further than Moon Jae-shin. If not for Jae-shin, Sun-joon would have spent the evening by himself with his nose in a book. But because of Jae-shin’s advice to loosen up, Sun-joon decides to go in search of company…

The Scholars’ Village, where Sun-joon is headed, is a scene of much merry-making. Ahn Do-hyun has everyone in stitches with his improvised reenactment of their class earlier. The only thing missing is the urinal pot.

“If anyone refuses to drink this wine, he will be expelled from Sungkyunkwan and have his name removed from the register forever! Drink up!”

And so, in the spirit of the moment and feeling already a tad tipsy from the sheer merriment, Yoon-hee obediently drinks up. But nothing prepares her for Do-hyun’s next order. A live octopus to increase a man’s libido!

Octopus in mouth and a reflux system about to go into full revolt, Yoon-hee is abruptly called away by a former accomplice, the bookstore owner himself.

Turns out he has a new job for her. Turns out Ha Hyo-eun, being the well-bred lady that she is, has no idea how to write a I-long-for-you-so-much-I-can-die love letter and has specially requested a scholar with a graceful hand to do the honors for her. Turns out said letter is meant for a most perfect specimen of a man, now walking resolutely (or maybe not) toward the Scholars’ Village.

Ever so hopeful, the young lady is crestfallen to learn from Yoon-hee that Young Master Lee Sun-joon would rather drop dead than be found drinking with all of them. “No, he’s not here.”

Ah, Yoon-hee, you are so wrong. Because as you return to Do-hyun and company, someone has just arrived outside. This someone is now listening, his ears all red, to what all of you are saying about him.

Everything revolves around Lee Sun-joon! Even if we make it as government officials, Lee Sun-joon is still going to be holding the highest positions. Despicable prick! Heartless twat!

You’re all worse than him! A bunch of grownups badmouthing him. Why don’t you seek out Scholar Jung for recourse if you’re so unhappy? You ask if I hate him? You have no idea how much I hate him! Still, Lee Sun-joon didn’t do anything wrong today.

The subject of their passionate argument is discovered standing self-consciously outside and quickly invited in. But trust the dear lad to endear himself to the present company by announcing that he hates the idea of such a gathering but feels compelled by his principles to attend.

Oh, hush, they said. Or maybe they hushed him in their hearts and cursed him at the same time. “Drink up. Drink up, Lee Sun-joon!”

And so he does, all of it, even though Yoon-hee offers to drink the humongous bowl of wine on his behalf. (Note how his hand rests on hers. Also note how he burps, his face turned politely away, unlike some men who burp right into your nostrils.)


The evening over, Yoon-hee and Sun-joon walk back to Sungkyunkwan. He has something to tell her.

Your wish… I will fulfill it. I will go to the west quarters.

But she has something to tell him, too. Something he does not expect.

Today’s the first time. To go to class, to study the Analects of Confucius, to see how interesting the lesson can be, to be with classmates… I must thank you for making it all possible for me. So you don’t have to move to the west quarters now; just remain where you are. Are my words so moving? You look as though you’re about to… No!

Yes, he does. The poor thing.

And poor Yoon-hee, too. Despite her “Help me!” pleas, the other freshmen dash off, leaving her alone with Sun-joon. And if you guessed that he has passed out, you’re right.

Curfew hour is just seconds away and everyone makes it back by the skin of their teeth.

Wait a minute. Did you just say everyone? Everyone including Yoon-hee and Sun-joon?

Well, if you are Ha In-soo, you don’t want them back on time, of course. In fact, hearing the gatekeeper tell you that your two favorite newcomers aren’t back, your eyes immediately gleam and you order: Shut the gate.

Perhaps your wicked mood is because you got stood up by Cho-seon earlier. You waited and waited for her, but she would rather spend the time with Gu Yong-ha than with you, never mind that your blood pressure is rising with every minute that she keeps you at bay. If that waiting makes you mad as hell, imagine how many blood vessels might burst if you were to overhear what she and Yong-ha were insinuating.

What a man can buy with power and money is merely a night with a woman. But the man who has nothing and yet can capture a woman’s heart… He can own that heart forever.

Don’t tell me… Don’t tell me… You and Dae Mul? Kim Yoon-shik?


My own question, though, isn’t about whom Cho-seon likes. We know from the previous episode that she’s developing some fond feelings for Yoon-shik aka Yoon-hee.

No, my question is this: Who or what does Gu Yong-ha like? Is he straight?

Because you should see how comfortable Cho-seon is with him, almost like he’s a fellow gisaeng. He certainly doesn’t lose out to her in finery or feminine flourishes. The way he fusses over Jae-shin, like a mother or nanny (and not like some pervert). He knows, or suspects, that Yoon-shik is a woman, but he certainly hasn’t shown a typical male interest in her.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… I don’t have to worry about Yong-ha falling in love with Yoon-hee, phew!

To Ha In-soo’s surprise, roll call reveals that Yoon-hee and Sun-joon aren’t stranded outside, they are in fact snug inside their quarters. Sun-joon is sleeping like a baby; Yoon-hee is all wide-eyed innocence, nothing like the person banging frantically away at the gate earlier. How in the world did they manage to sneak in?

Only one possibility passes muster. Someone must have showed them the secret passageway!

This someone now sits facing Yoon-hee, blithely accepting her profuse thanks. He drops a tantalizing piece of news. Jae-shin isn’t coming back tonight so that means Yoon-hee and Sun-joon would be alone in their room. How jolly!

True enough, we see Jae-shin gambling away, just moments before a raid by the police. He is taken to his furious dad, someone obviously in a very high government position. Hmm, interesting. So Moon Jae-shin isn’t some vagabond wannabe, he actually hails from prized noble stock.

Useless bum! When are you going to stop loafing around? How can you face your departed brother in your current state?

Do you have the right to chide me, Father? I can stand anyone else judging me except you. Don’t bother about me again because it makes me sick.

Why has Jae-shin left home and why does he seem to despise his father? Does the bad blood between them have anything to do with the fact that his brother is dead? Is the father’s position the reason why Jae-shin hasn’t been expelled from Sungkyunkwan despite a prolonged truancy?

Hey, no time to ruminate on those puzzling questions because we have ourselves a right royal crisis at Sungkyunkwan, specifically inside a certain room at the east quarters. Hurry!

And indeed Yoon-hee is in dire straits, the kind that will make her mother yell out, “The chastity blade that I gave you, Yoon-hee. Use it now to protect yourself!”

Because you see, clothes are a-flying in the room, the same clothes that just moments ago were on Lee Sun-joon’s body. Someone stop this drunk guy!

Enter four scandalous thoughts. Oh, who am I kidding? Make that forty!

The next morning…

“Oh boy, this dream is priceless. I’m practically naked? Muahaha, that’s a good one, Lee Sun-joon, way better than your last dream about swimming in a river of pee. Well, I’m going to sleep some more, and when I wake up, I’ll be all ready to face the world as Joseon’s most upright and scandal-free bachelor, fully-clothed of course. For now… dream, I’m all yours!”


If you sleep outside, your mouth is going to be all crooked, says the guy who slept outside to the Yoon-hee who had no choice but to sleep outside.

Roused by Jae-shin’s words, Yoon-hee opens her eyes to see his face close to hers, his breath no doubt reeking of alcohol. The two troop inside their shared room, she covering her eyes as she belatedly remembers her last sight of Sun-joon.

But the guy is sitting where he always sits in the morning, doing what he always does, all prepped for a day of study ahead. “You’re back,” he says softly and deferentially to Jae-shin. And to Yoon-hee, her eyes wide as saucers, he asks, “Did anything happen last night?”

I’ll hand it to you, sneaky Lee Sun-joon. You’re adorable when you fib!

(As for you, Moon Jae-shin, don’t you know it’s illegal to be this HOT? Just stop it right now because you’re giving all of us a nosebleed.)

His dignity restored (or so he hopes), Sun-joon walks outside to find his trusty manservant waiting for him. Apparently word has spread far and wide that the son of Left State Councilor Lee drank himself silly the previous evening, something which has never happened before. Not the drinking silly, but the drinking, period. The guy’s famous for being a teetotaller.

A nourishing drink to wash away the ill effects of the wine, a bout of choking, an embarrassing recall of last night’s events, another opportunity to come clean with Yoon-hee turned into a fresh fib (I don’t remember anything about last night, Kim Yoon-shik, unless you are referring to your request that I stay put in the east quarters). Never a dull moment in Lee Sun-joon’s life these days.

(Like Serendipity mentioned in the previous recap, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is just gorgeous to look at. The above is a perfect example of The Pretty.)

The new day brings an exciting announcement. The king is organizing an archery competition for Sungkyunkwan students! A prized bowstring, personally bestowed by His Majesty, will be the reward for the best archers.

And now you’ll excuse me as I squeal like a pig that has just fallen into a tub of swill. If he wasn’t HOT before, he sure as sunrise is fully qualified now. Just see how he instructs Yoon-hee in the art of archery, just so that she will not be a liability to him and Jae-shin. If one roommate fails, the other one (or two, in their case) fails as well.

First, he holds her close and checks that her posture is correct.

Next, he stares at her, not realizing that her heart is thumping.

They gaze at each other, lost to the world. He tells her, indirectly, that he remembers everything of last night. Everything she said, everything he felt.

It was also my first time. Not just a classmate but a good friend. Someone willing to be my good friend. Kim Yoon-shik, you’re the first.

That’s it, Show. Get any sweeter and awww-inducing than that and I’ll have to be stretchered into the emergency ward. Have mercy!

Unfortunately, some idiots must come along and spoil my favorite scene.

“Hmm, looks like the two roommates are still close? Does that mean Lee Sun-joon need not go to the west quarters now?”

Anytime Ha In-soo has that look on his face, you know trouble is brewing. Flee to the hills, Sun-joon and Yoon-hee!

Even as their sons are busy preparing for the archery competition, Left State Councilor Lee and War Minister Ha ponder the significance of the event.

Didn’t Crown Prince Sado, the late father of the current king, hold archery competitions at Sungkyunkwan? So now his son is resuming them? What does that mean? And with the mysterious appearance of the red-missive messenger and revived speculation about King Yeongjo’s testament, things do not augur well for the Noron Party.

“Don’t take any action now,” says the councilor to the minister. “The perfect timing will come when we can break down our opponent’s defenses completely.”

In the palace, the king has just handed over to Scholar Jung a will containing the last words of a scholar by the name of Kim Seung-hun. The will suggests that Sungkyunkwan holds the clue to the whereabouts of the Geum Deung Ji Sa.

“This is the reason I sent you to Sungkyunkwan,” says the king.

Unaware of the king’s real reason for holding the archery competition (and I’m not suggesting that he has ulterior motives that are tied to his grandfather’s testament; he may simply want to revive a sport that his father loved), the Sungkyunkwan students continue to hone their skills.

Yoon-hee is alone when Ha In-soo strolls by with his dimwitted underlings. When the men suggest that she’s Sun-joon’s lackey, our spunky girl retorts:

As the leader student, don’t you have the authority to change the rules? If it riles you so much that Lee Sun-joon is staying in the east quarters, why not make it mandatory for the quarters to be allocated according to one’s political faction?

“I’m going to teach you a lesson today,” he replies.

Sun-joon is polishing his bowstring when one of the little Sungkyunkwan boys (the ones who apparently live there and help with simple chores) runs up to him, fear written all over his face. “Dae Mul and Young Master Ha… at the archery grounds…”

Jae-shin is walking back to Sungkyunkwan when Yong-ha pounces on him. “Aren’t you pleased about the archery competition? Aren’t you the best archer around?”

Separately, Sun-joon because of the boy’s words and Jae-shin because of what he sees across the grounds, the two HOTs dash toward Yoon-hee. Sun-joon grabs In-soo and knocks him down, yelling, “What are you trying to do?!” Jae-shin grabs Yoon-hee as she falls.


Inside his study, Scholar Jung is checking the student register when he sees a familiar name. Kim Yoon-shik is Kim Seung-hun’s son?

A commotion outside. Jae-shin runs in with an unconscious Yoon-hee on his back. Since Scholar Jung has some medical training, could he please tend to her?

Afterwards, as she awakes, Yoon-hee realizes that her chastity blade is missing, the one that she has always kept it on her chest beneath her clothes. She’s searching frantically for it when Scholar Jung walks in, a grim look on his face.

Are you a woman? Answer me, Kim Yoon-shik. Are you a woman?

Oh, a fabulous episode chock-a-block with fresh and key developments!

Sun-joon, our Mr. Reticent, reveals twice (at the beginning of the episode and after his striptease performance) what Kim Yoon-shik means to him. This is a big step forward and I can’t wait to see how their relationship is going to grow as they decide to room together, willingly this time. I love how he is coming out of his shell, and how genuinely caring he is with her. He shows us, in this episode, that he’s willing to change and that he can be cheeky and cute if he wants to. (Yes!)

Yoon-hee, on the other hand, is feeling increasingly self-conscious around Sun-joon and may withdraw more even as he becomes more comfortable with her. But her main concern now will of course be Scholar Jung. Will he report her? Will she lose her life?

Jae-shin seems to be drifting toward… Well, no one knows exactly what his goals are. His studies do not appear to be important to him, he comes and goes as he pleases, he’s harboring some deep family wounds that are still a mystery to us. And speaking of mystery, I wonder if Jae-shin is the masked archer. I’ve scrutinized my screencaps and the eyes seem similar. Now that Yong-ha has given slip what a fantastic archer Jae-shin is, our suspicions can only grow.

Yong-ha is still an enigma and In-soo is UP TO NO GOOD, always. A missing testament needs to be found (if you’re on the king’s side, that is; the Noron folks would rather it be lost forever), and if it is indeed on the Sungkyunkwan grounds, then we have ourselves a treasure hunt to boot.

I adore this episode. Delightful, suspenseful, and, very importantly, full of the HOT. Onward ho to Episode 5!

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10 thoughts on “Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 4

  1. I like this Thundie. A lot of Hot Sun Joon! ❤

    I know a lot of people love Jae Shin more, and of course I adore his hotness too.. but for me its SJ all the way and FTW! ~~

  2. Pingback: Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 4 « thundie's prattle life university

  3. Well, seeing as we in Joseon where you are allowed to take multiple lovers, I am going to be greedy and take all four boys, including the unblinking In-Soo (who doesn’t appear to be getting much loving heh).

    Also, kudos for another excellent recap. Spoiled for choice with these and the ones at dramabeans heh.

  4. Hi ripgal, I love the two HOTS equally but in different ways. Jae-shin makes my heart stop because YAI reminds me so much of So Jisub! I love him all vagabond-like, not when he’s clean, keke. His voice is so sexy.

    Sun-joon, I love, love, LOVE. Love his quiet strength, his doggedness (in ep 5 when he was practising his archery with that injured shoulder, awww), his gentleness… I think Micky Yoochun is doing an absolutely fine job.

    Hey hjkomo, my partner in crime, I bet your scandalous thoughts are 400 and counting? 😆

    Bashful82, thanks for reading. As reward… Ha In-soo is all yours!

  5. Right.. I thought I was the only one who saw So Ji Sub or Cha Moo Hyuk in YAI’s character Jae Shin. But I still think his character lacks depth.. not the acting, but the character.

    On the other hand, you’re so spot on about SJ’s quietness. Lovin’ it a lot!

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