We start off with a return of the meetings the Norons are holding to plot against the Crown Prince. As the Queen reminds them that mistakes must not happen, Lord Hong declares that the Crown Prince will die.
We move to the Palace, where Hong1 and Lord Hong’s underling are trying to creep in and grab Ji Sun if they get a chance. They spot her strolling along and follow. Dong Soo’s been busy spelling out LOVE with petals, and as she walks up, the petals all blow away. (awww)
Turns out that Hong1 is terrible at sneaking, as Dong Soo and Ji Sun almost immediately hear them. He grabs Ji Sun’s hand and they dart through the palace gardens to avoid them. Dong Soo guides her to a safe passage and then diverts the followers away.
Dong Soo loses the followers, and then meets back up with Ji Sun. He asks her why she is there at the palace and why the guys were following her. She says she’s there to lose a heavy burden and she doesn’t know why they were chasing her. He asks why she would run from people if she doesn’t know why they were chasing her. She replies that she’s had to live that way for a long time. She notices the pendant he is wearing. He explains that a lady dropped it , he picked it up and that it saved his life once. He repaired the pendant and wears it all the time. She smiles and looks closely at it, and tells him that it was hers. We get a flashback to when they met and when she lost the pendant.
He says she saved his life, and she says that they appear to have a joint destiny. (awwww). As Dong Soo reaches up to touch Ji Sun’s face, Un comes around the corner and witnesses this.
Lord Hong meets with Chun to show him the maps and gloat. Lord Hong asks him if he wants to use the scrolls before they are turned over to the Qing (I believe the meaning here is to use them as a tactical weapon for the Assassins purposes). Chun tells him that he doesn’t need fake scrolls. Lord Hong replies that the Plan is real and he’ll show Chun it’s value. Chun basically says “whatever.”
Later, when Chun meets with Ji, he asks her what is bothering her. She asks about the Plan, and he says it’s fake, so who cares. She asks what if it’s real, and if it is would he have taken it. He just laughs. She asks him why is it that he seems to be enjoying all of this, when he said that he wanted to leave and live freely. He tells her that he may not know much, but he knows that he wants them all under his feet. She gets up angrily and tells him that not everything in the world will turn out like he wants.
Dong Soo and Un hike back to the beacon, where Yu Tae and Cho Rip are happy to see them. Dong Soo asks Yu Tae to tell the truth, he has really only been there a short while, not 30 years. Yu Tae admits it with a “so what?” Dong Soo tells Cho Rip they are going to the palace the next day, and while Cho Rip is digesting that, Un joins in to ask Yu Tae how a General got sent to this beacon, which totally flips Cho Rip out..
Dong Soo explains that Yu Tae is being a fraud and that he was really demoted. Cho Rip goes through the command structure to figure out that, yep, this beacon guard is high ranking officer. Yu Tae says, yeah well, then you should be showing me some respect and kneeling here. Cho Rip actually does that, while Dong Soo points out that he’s a beacon officer at the moment, not a commander or general, and heads for bed, making Yu Tae laugh.
Back in town, Jang Mi (the nice lady) fills Sa Mo in on Dong Soo’s snake bite. She tries to work this into persuading Sa Mo to marry her. Which doesn’t quite work, but is cute. Gwang Taek, on the other hand, is sitting around thinking about his visit with Ji. Jang Mi So (Dae Pyo’s daughter) serves him some food and then sits with him to talk about her father.
The boys hang around the tent and talk about their friends from the training camp. They bid farewell to Yu Tae, Dong Soo managing to get in a dig about wishing Yu Tae a peaceful life….alone. While Yu Tae returns that with basically an “off you go, you’ll be having a hard life now, because you are mannerless.” As he returns to the beacon, Yu Tae is confronted by guards, who ask if he is General Seo Yu Tae. In a completely different speaking manner, he firmly agrees that he is, and he is arrested.
Back at the palace, the boys are back in their uniforms, and Im tells them what is expected of them at the palace – they should behave themselves and learn. Un asks if the Crown Prince is in any particular danger. Im tells them that the Crown Prince rarely has a moment of peace. After Dong Soo breaks out with an embarrassingly boastful remark, Im tells them to work on their speech and manners as well.
Lord Hong meets with the Minister of Justice, warning him that the Crown Prince will be on the losing side, and so he should switch to their side. The Minister angrily asks if this is a threat, and Lord Hong tells him that he was just warning him of a change in the way the winds were blowing.
Then Lord Hong and his creepy bodyguard visit Dae Ung (who was In). They give him a leather arm/hand – which essentially makes his left arm a blunt instrument. In return, Lord Hong asks him there a matter to settle, so Im goes off and kills the Justice Minister.
Chun arrives at the palace, and easily manages to sneak into see the Crown Prince. He tells the Prince that he isn’t there to kill him, so don’t bother with the swords. He sits and gets to the point. He asks if the Prince can give up on the Northern Expedition, as it’s not too late. He asks if a small country can really invade Qing. Sado tells him that Joseon once ruled that whole area, should Joseon and he should be treated like a joke?
Chun tells him that it’s all a delusion, but the Prince replies that he will make it happen. Sado asks if Chun can be on his side, to which he gets an immediate reply of no. Sado tells him that means he’s given up on living like a real person, and Chun tells him he gave up on that long ago. Chun tells him that if the Prince looks at him as not being a person for opposing him then Chun will consider the Prince nothing but a beast. He asks the Prince if he understands, and is he still not willing to give up?
Sado tells Chun that even if he was to die right there, he wouldn’t give up the Northern Expedition.
Chun nods with some resignation. He unties the the sword he has on his back and presents it to the Prince. He tells the Prince that this is is much valued sword, and if he has to meet the Prince again, he’ll use this sword on him.
As he gets up to leave, Chun stops to tell the Prince again to let the Plan just drift away.
General Seo Yu Tae is being interrogated (tortured). Commander Im eavesdrops as Lord Hong gets to the point. He’s trying to get General Seo to say that the Crown Prince is directing a military expedition, and that this is treasonable. He responds that the troops are the King’s troops, not the Crown Prince’s. So then Lord Hong tries asking if General Seo thinks the Crown Prince cares what happens to him? He tells General Seo to just go along with this and lie about the Crown Prince. He replies that his life belongs to his King and that no torture is going to get him to go along with Lord Hong.
Lord Hong tells him the Crown Prince will soon be joining him as a prisoner. And the next we see is the King being informed that the General and Prince Sado were planning a revolt. Lord Hong assures him it is true. The Qing envoy points out that these are Northern border troops. As confirming evidence, Lord Hong brings out the maps.
Commander Im goes to the Crown Prince and lays out everything that is going on – there was a Noron meeting, and General Seo is being tortured, however Im suspects that it’s because of the inspection tour. The Prince thinks he should go save General Seo, but Im stops him. Suddenly, the Prince realizes that the maps have been stolen and replaced with blank scrolls.
Just then, the Prince is called before the King and ministers. He’s got some explaining to do, but he stands silent as Lord Hong and the Qing envoy declare that these are maps for a Northern Expedition, and that is treasonous!
The Prince finally declares that it isn’t treason. He tells the Qing envoy that Qing doesn’t own Joseon, and for a large amount of history, the reverse was true. The Qing envoy asks if he’s forgotten the Qing invasions. Sado tells him that he hasn’t forgotten, but while their King bowed to the Qing emperor, they aren’t his subjects. Just then, one of the ministers points out the robe that the Crown Prince is wearing. The embroidery on it is a 7 clawed dragon, which is an Imperial insignia. Wearing such a symbol is also treasonous, as it implies he’s on the same level as the Emperor. (which is the meaning behind the Queen being given a royal robe at the end of Episode 10. We see in a flashback that she presented it to him)
The King examines the robe and, stunned, grabs a sword and slices the offending embroidery.
Commander Im calls the boys in and orders them to escort Ji Sun away, because everything is hitting the fan.
The Prince kneels before the King and denies the treason, as Lord Hong and the ministers insist on his arrest. The King strips the Crown Prince of his status, forces him to bow before him, and has him arrested.
The boys plan the escape of Ji Sun. Cho Rip points out the defenses are against them. Dong Soo, however, decides that there is one way for anyone to leave the palace. That way would be via the dead gate – where corpses are taken out.
The Crown Princess goes to the King and pleads that perhaps this is all due to an illness the Crown Prince has. She pleads for him to take back the order. He replies that it’s all over.
Cho Rip and Dong Soo break into the morgue and steal clothes from the guards and the materials they need. They lead a cart out to the gate, where the guards check them out, but Ji Sun slips through dressed as one of the cart guards (Dong Soo having stolen the stinky dead guy clothes and dressed as a corpse.)
Back in their own clothes they make their way into the forest where they meet up with three of their old friends from training camp and Sa Mo. Suddenly, they are attacked, and Sa Mo is hit by a thrown knife.
Dae Ung (the former In) shows up with 2 men and after the customary insults, tries to take Ji Sun. The three mountain boys attack Dae Ung,
Just as Un steps forward to fight Dae Ung, Gwang Taek arrives. Dae Ung throws down a smoke bomb and runs off (presumably with the other 2 guys, although you do wonder if they were smoking ciggies and twiddling their thumbs while the fight was going on.)
Sa Mo is taken to the bandit headquarters where Hwang Jin Ki lives. Jin Ki tends to him and they wait for him to recover. Ji Sun stays with Jin Ju, and Jin Ju takes the opportunity to tell Ji Sun that Dong Soo is hers, a little conversational non sequitur that startles Ji Sun. Gwang Taek asks what is going on at the palace, but the boys can’t tell him more than their mission. Dong Soo is disconsolate with worry, so Gwang Taek takes him out for some sword practice, which mostly means Dong Soo getting beaten up and being told not to fight with emotion.
Then Gwang Taek runs into Un, who asks to practice as well. While Un lasts at least a few parries, he also loses. Gwang Taek tells him that he can see that he holds his sword to kill.
Dong Soo and Ji Sun sit down and chat. He asks how she became a nun. She says it was her destiny since she was born and that her days were long and difficult. Dong Soo blurts out that he will protect her since she isn’t at the palace. She says she doesn’t want to endanger anyone. He tells her that there really isn’t such a thing as destiny, rather he believes in free will, otherwise he’d still be a cripple.
Sa Mo starts to recover, and that evening Un slips out to meet with Chun. Chun asks him what he thought of Gwang Taek, and Un replies that Gwang Taek was several levels above him. Chun tells him it’s more than several levels. Chun tells him that the reason he doesn’t attack Gwang Taek is that when they fight, Gwang Taek is always holding back more. Chun asks if he knows why, and Un says it’s because Gwang Taek is stronger. Chun says maybe, but he thinks it’s because Gwang Taek has no desire to kill him. Unless they both really want to kill each other, it will never be a real match. Then, Chun tells him he has orders for Un. He tells him to go to the butcher shop, he wants to make Gwang Taek angry enough to kill. There on the wood in front of him, Un sees the word, KILL.
Un and 2 others ride off to Sa Mo’s where the mountain boys are recovering. There, Un personally takes out his sword and he stabs the first of the boys. The other awakens, so he paralyzes him with a needle and then stabs him as well as the boy says “Un? It’s you?” As the boy collapses, and a tear rolls down Un’s face (over the guyliner), we end episode 11.
Yes, Un has really gone over to The Dark Side.
But, oh my, Lord Hong wasn’t kidding about setting things in motion, was he? Framed by embroidery. Who’d a thunk it!
Anyway, let’s just pause here to think about Chun and the Prince, because that little conversation was really interesting. Chun has been telling everyone that this Plan is fake, a forgery, etc. In truth, he only cares whether it’s going to be acted on. He’s been hired to prevent the Northern Expedition at all costs.
On the face of it, the easiest method of preventing the Expedition is to kill Sado. However, Chun actually prefers not to do this if at all possible, going to the extent to visiting the palace and warning the Prince of the consequences. He actually emphasizes not the danger to the Prince, but the danger to the nation if they invade Qing.
Even after warning the Prince that if he goes through with it, Chun will have to hunt him like a beast, Chun stops to advise him again that he should let this whole plan go. It’s hard to know if Chun simply prefers a solution that requires less intervention on his part and will cause less upheaval, or if he truly prefers not to have to kill Sado.
As for Un, well, I guess we knew he was going to The Dark Side, but ah, it’s so sad to see it happen.