We start episode 14 right where we left off. Gwang Taek tries to snap Dong Soo out of his fugue by beating the living daylights out of him. While it does prove that Dong Soo has enough presence of mind for self preservation, that’s pretty much the entire result.
At the Hired Assassins headquarters, Ji ponders what to do about Jin Ju trying to contact her and she gets in touch with Jin Ki. She then contacts Sa Mo and meets him in the market. She asks him where Jin Ju is.
Jin Ju can’t stand to see any more of Dong Soo being beaten, so she puts a stop to it. Gwang Taek tells her that he can see from Dong Soo’s eyes that he’s still in there but is trying to forget everything. Jin Ju grabs Dong Soo and gets Cho Rip to help her drag him away. Gwang Taek follows just as Ji and Sa Mo also arrive.
Jin Ju takes them to where Sa Mo had originally raised Dong Soo, which is now abandoned. They go into one of the old buildings, and she tells Cho Rip that she’ll snap Dong Soo out of it. She tells Cho Rip to leave and not to let anyone enter.
Jin Ju bars the door from the inside and lights a torch. She asks Dong Soo if he remembers when they were children and he saved her from a fire. She asks him to save her again. She tells him that she believes in him, he’s going to be Joseon’s greatest swordsman – Baek Dong Soo – and then she sets the building on fire. She tells him that he needs to return to himself before time runs out. And then she waits.
Outside, Cho Rip sees the fire. He tries the door, but can’t get in. Gwang Taek arrives and he prevents Cho Rip from trying to go in. Next to arrive are Ji and Sa Mo, who also look at the fire in horror. This time it’s Ji who prevents Sa Mo from trying to help.
As the fire builds, even Ji wants to intervene. Gwang Taek finally figures it out, and Ji admits that Jin Ju is her daughter. Just as Ji moves forward, Dong Soo crashes through the burning door, carrying Jin Ju. Dong Soo finally speaks, and asks Jin Ju if she’s an idiot.
Next, we see Dong Soo and Jin Ju recovering under the watchful eye of Cho Rip. Dong Soo awakens first, and almost immediately he asks why Ji was there.
Ji and Gwang Taek make awkward conversation outside, with Gwang Taek finally asking who the father of Jin Ju is. Ji tells him that he isn’t the father. Ok, technically he said “could it be, that the father of that child Jin Ju….” and she replies “no.” Then, as he turns and says “well, then…” we cut to Chun sitting in the Assassins headquarters, saying “finally, you chose Gwang Taek.” He goes on to say that their love will only end in regret. And he calls Un to meet him.
Un is sitting with Ji Sun, who survived her wounds. We get a flashback of Un preventing her from stabbing Chun. Ji Sun says she wants to kill Chun and Un for what they did. Chun tells Un to let her go, and he calculates correctly, because while she stabs him, she doesn’t have it in her to kill him – even the wound that she made appalls her.
Chun tells her that killing him wouldn’t change things, and to just give it up. She takes this a little too literally, and stops eating. Un presents her his sword and offers to let her kill him. Since that doesn’t work, let’s give Un some props for his next ploy – he tells her that if she starves herself, she might be able to follow the Prince in death, but what about Dong Soo? He thinks she is dead, and as a result has lost his mind. What about her responsibility for that?
So, now we’re back from flashback-land. Ji Sun and Un sit and discuss things. He asks if she is upset with him and she denies it, saying that’s in the past. He tells her that they’ll be going to Qing soon. He asks if there is anything she needs him to do before they leave, and she says no, she is already dead. He asks her to at least send a message to Dong Soo, and she again refuses (and I want to dopeslap the little nun right now).
Chun gives Un the book portion of the Plan (and where they found that is a mystery to me, so either I missed that detail or they lost me on that one – they mentioned looking for it, so I’ll assume it was in the Crown Prince’s possession or that Ji Sun told them where it was). Un’s job will be to deliver the book and the girl to the Emperor in Qing.
Ji leaves a letter for Jin Ju and heads back to the Assassins headquarters. Gwang Taek asks how Ji Sun is, and she tells him that she’s alive, but that it would be better for Ji Sun if they acted as if they didn’t know that.
Jang Mi makes a nice hearty meal for Dong Soo (with Mi So stealing some extra meat for Cho Rip) and they all gather around to eatm except Dong Soo has already slunk off. He waylays Ji and asks her about Ji Sun. He remembers her saying that she would return Ji Sun to them. So, even if it’s just her body, please return her.
Ji tells him to forget Ji Sun. He tells her to answer and draws his sword. Saying it’s foolish to threaten her, she tells him to put up his sword. She tells him if he can’t protect the woman he loves, then he’s useless. (and if I were her, I’d be pissed that my daughter risked her life to save his and now he’s asking about Ji Sun) Anyway, he tells her to take that back, and she goes farther and says he’s a childish braggart.
He attacks her and she quickly brings him down. She tells him that right now he’s too weak to help anyone. Jin Ki arrives, as Ji tells Dong Soo to get stronger and get over it.
Dong Soo stands to fight again and Jin Ki stops him asking him if he’s lost his mind again. Dong Soo finally asks how Ji Sun is. Ji tells him that as long as the maps are on her body, she will be a target even after she is dead. Dong Soo tells Ji that he’ll protect her even if it means protecting her grave. Ji tells him yeah, look how good you were at that protecting thing before, and what the use is it of protecting a grave. She tells him to get stronger.
And now, for a little Jin Ju backstory as told by Jin Ki to the assembled crew who await her recovery. 20 years ago, Ga Ok was the daughter of the previous Chun, and Jin Ki was a training officer and her bodyguard. One fine day, he espied Ga Ok making the k-drama-I-am-pregnant-throw-up-face. She reported in to the current Chun (who is not wearing his fancy robes of the previous backstory flashback but his scruffy duds) that she needed to go away for about a year. He said, well you won’t give a reason, but ok. And he told Jin Ki to protect her. Ga Ok gave birth by herself and left Jin Ju with him. He says he doesn’t know who the father is. He asks Gwang Taek, who says that Ji told him it wasn’t him. (and we have some serious fail in the male math department – srsly – if Gwang Taek wasn’t sitting there adding years and months to figure out just when this kid was born, he’s an idiot.)
Jin Ju awakens, startled to find everyone EXCEPT Dong Soo there. He, however, was just outside. He looks embarrassed and tells her that she looks a mess, what’s with that? Sa Mo asks her what the heck she did that all for? What if she died? She shrugs and says “I lived.”
Everyone leaves except Jin Ki, who tells her that yes, that lady is your mother. Then she asks, then you aren’t my real father? She tells him that she knew that ever since she was a little kid. So she was always curious as to who her parents were, but was afraid to ask. Jin Ki tells her that he is her father, not matter what happens and forever, he will be her father. (awwwww)
He gives her Ji’s letter. In the letter, Ji says that sending her away was the best thing to do. She thought it would give her the chance to be happy. But it seems that this left her with scars. From now on, she won’t leave her alone, her mother will protect her.
Dong Soo finds Jin Ki in the courtyard and asks him where the Assassins headquarters is. Jin Ki tells him he could tell him where it was 20 years ago, but even then, it’s likely Ji Sun isn’t there. And if she’s dead, her body would have been sent to Qing because of the tattoo.
Ji arrives at the headquarters and is met by the suspicious eyes of the lead minion aka the training captain. Turns out that minion is upset that Un was promoted to In over him. He goes to drink with Dae Ung, who commiserates with him about being backstabbed. They, in turn, are being spied on by Gu Hyang the gisaeng. Dae Ung admits to having a plot in mind.
Back at the palace, the King happens to notice that the lights are still on over at the Prince’s place. He’s told that the Prince often stays up all night studying, and that right now he’s studying one of the 5 Confucian classic books, the Classic of History. The King is pleased to hear this, and decides not to interrupt the Prince’s studies.
However, the Queen’s father overhears this and runs off to tell the Queen. The Queen says that she actually kind of admires the Prince for working so hard. Her father, however, tells her not to forget that if the Prince becomes the king, their whole family will likely get wiped out. She tells her father that he should know that it’s not an easy thing to become the king. (The implication being that she is still on the side of plotting against the Prince.) The Prince studies on.
In the Assassins headquarters, Un and Ji Sun pass by the minion, who recalls that Dae Ung’s plan involves the downfall of Chun. Ji tells Ji Sun that if she goes to Qing that her life will be in jeopardy. Un wants to know what that means, but Ji Sun says she knows. Ji asks if she still intends to go to Qing, and she says that so many people have died because of the Plan, she will go to Qing and put an end to her family line and the Plan. She says that she is already dead, but Un objects again. He asks Ji for some way to save her life, but Ji says there isn’t one.
Gu Hyang reports to Chun that Dae Ung is alive and that he met with the minion. Chun thanks her and then calls in Un to assign Gu Hyang to the Qing trip. Chun then tells Un a little of the history of the swords in the main hall. There are 100 years of their history there, and he put his blood and sweat into the place. He points to the empty spot, saying that this is the last thing he wants to achieve. That is the spot for Gwang Taek’s sword. Chun says that from now on, he will become a legendary figure in Joseon history – the merchants and the nobles will all be less than him.
He tells Un that he has it in him to take over here. If he has the will in him to do so, Chun will hand the place over to him. Un kneels and tells him that he will follow him in all things if only he is granted one favor, and that is Ji Sun’s life. Chun tells him that he knows how Un feels, but the Plan and therefore Ji Sun, have to be turned over to the Emperor, so her life isn’t his to grant.
Un objects again, and Chun tells him that if this mission fails, it won’t be Gwang Taek’s sword sitting there in the hall, it will be Un’s.
Dong Soo finds Gwang Taek, who notes that Dong Soo’s ordeal seems to have changed him, he seems calmer. Dong Soo tells him that it’s all thanks to Gwang Taek, who in turn tells him that no, it’s all thanks to Jin Ju, so Dong Soo should go thank her before she leaves.
Jin Ju has been delaying her farewells in the courtyard, hoping Dong Soo will show up. When he finally does, her father smirks at her, tells her to catch up to him, and strolls off. Everyone else scurries off, leaving the two alone. After a teeny bit of awkward goodbyes, Dong Soo reaches over and hugs Jin Ju. He thanks her. They break apart and she goes off, looking back frequently.
Instead of heading back to the hideout, however, Jin Ki actually takes Jin Ju to see Ji. Ji apologizes to Jin Ju, who only wants to know why she was abandoned. Ji tells Jin Ju that she never, ever forgot her. Jin Ju says she really missed her, and calls her Mom. (awwww) They embrace and cry. (awwwww some more)
The minion steals Chun’s seal and is almost caught in the act. But Chun is distracted by a scroll he found in Dae Ung’s room. It’s a list of people, and they are all martial artists or fighters. Around 20 in total divided into 3 levels. At the top of the middle level, they had placed Dae Ung, so they thought 6 people had higher skills than Dae Ung. The minion says there were 3 who were certainly better: Jung Hyung Mun a wrestler who had gotten into a scrap with some samurai, and was now in their employ; Hwang Jin Ki, who as they now know is not dead, and while he’s older, he’s also stronger; lastly is Jang Tae San, who is a bounty hunter. However, Chun doesn’t recognize another name on the list, a Baek Myun Young – listed as a scholar. The minion doesn’t know much about him, other than the description that is his nickname. (and we see him buying a book of porn from our friendly artist Kim Hong Do).
The minion gets away claiming that what he had taken was an apple, which makes Chun laugh since it’s the same word as apology. To the top of the list, Chun adds Gwang Taek’s name.
Gwang Taek heads up a meeting of most of the crew – but not Dong Soo – telling them that Ji Sun is alive, but he hasn’t decided what to do about it. Sa Mo tells Gwang Taek that if he isn’t going to do something, he’ll try to save her himself. He says he can’t find the headquarters, but he knows where to find Un. The Qing envoy will be leaving the next day, so he expects them to head to the wharf for a ship, and Un will certainly be around there.
Gwang Taek tells the rest of them not to tell Dong Soo, that he and Sa Mo will deal with it. Little do they know that Dong Soo is eavesdropping and flipping out.
The minion delivers Chun’s seal to Dae Ung and Lord Hong bids farewell to the Qing envoy, saying that the Plan will be delivered to him as he boards the ship. He asks if Chun will be seeing him off, and Dae Ung arrives to tell him that no, Chun won’t be there. Dae Ung tells them that Chun plans to double cross them and keep the Plan. The envoy notes that he hasn’t seen Chun at all this trip, is there some reason? Dae Ung says it’s all a plot to get the Plan back so that the blame will fall on the envoy. As proof he shows them a forged order from Chun. After the envoy leaves, Lord Hong asks Dae Ung what he’s up to, and Dae Ung tells him he’s going to get his position back.
Un, Ji Sun, Gu Hyang and a passel of assassins head off to the wharf to meet the envoy. Gwang Taek and Sa Mo discover that Dong Soo has gone missing. Jin Ju sees him as he rides by, and then as they rush to the wharf as well, the boys run into the painter Kim Hong Do. So everyone is converging on the wharf.
The minion recalls his orders from Dae Ung – he should get the book and kill Ji Sun.
Un escorts Ji Sun to the wharf and hands the book to the envoy. The envoy demands proof that Ji Sun has the map tattoo. While at first she argues that she is only allowed to show it to the emperor, he insists. She turns and starts to take off her hanbok. Un takes his short sword and slashes her hanbok instead, revealing part of the tattoo.
They all head to the ship, and Un asks her one more time if she understands that getting on the ship is the point of no return. As she passes the minion, he puts a sword to her neck. He tells Un to put down his dagger and asks the envoy for the book. As he’s handed the book, a trident dagger hits his arm, and Dae Ung arrives.
The minion realizes he’s been betrayed by Dae Ung, and Dae Ung kills him. (good, now I don’t have to feel bad about never remembering his name.) Dae Ung gives the book back to the envoy. All of this has convinced the envoy that Chun was double crossing him.
As they once again start to board the ship, Dong Soo comes cantering up. From the head of the wharf, he yells for them to stop. He battles assassins as he makes his way down the wharf. As he tells them they can’t leave, Ji Sun tells him not to come closer. They go back and forth, she finally says that this is fate, she’s already dead. And he says that he said he would protect her, to believe in him.
So we end episode 14 as Dong Soo fights his way through the assassins down to the end of the wharf.
Well, well….that was fun. Crossing, double crossing, triple double crossing. Can we have some applause for Un here anyone? The boy has not only been trying to save Ji Sun this whole time, but was also worried about Dong Soo.
We got a return to show theme number 3 – Fate – with a big F – vs Free Will.
And YEAH! for Jin Ju finally officially meeting her mother. And another YEAH for Ji having so much screen time! YEAH!