The stakes are raised, like woah, y’all. This is one of the best second episodes I have seen in awhile. Everyone has something to get or hope for and, after this episode, pretty much everyone has someone they want completely destroyed.
KOREAN DRAMA THE CROWNED CLOWN: EPISODE 2 RECAP
Ha Sun stands nervously as Lee Hun walks around him, inspecting him. Lee Hun tells him to say I-nom. Ha Sun says I-nom, but he says it timidly, so Lee Hun tells him to say it properly! Ha Sun says everything the King says in the exact way that he says it. Lee Hun hackles happily.
Lee Hun is happy with this guy and tells Lee Kyu that they don’t need to prepare anything, his entire job is to die for me. Lee Kyu thinks Ha Sun can be used against him. But Lee hun thinks that he can finally breathe now, everyone tries to kill him. he thinks he will have blood on his hands again. Lee Kyu understands and grants the Kings wish.
Ha Sun gets word that he is going to replace the King. he is still in the King’s throne room. Lee Kyu tells him that he has to do this, this is the Kings order. But Ha Sun wants to leave. However, Lee Kyu knows about his sister and his friends. He tells him that he will give him enough money so he won’t have to worry about money for his entire life.
Ha Sun is a bit worried about his sister and friends worrying about him, but he also is intrigued by the money. he tells him, okay, I will try it since I already did a wrong thing. What should I do?
Eunuch Jo steps up next to him. Kyu tells Ha Sun that Jo takes care of the King. He asks what the biggest problem would be. Jo says it would be his manners and low-class speech. Ha Sun laughs and says that he did not even start yet, you can speak to me comfortably.
Jo – It is better to use jongdaemal just in case someone notices. you should tell me things as if you are the King.
HS – *puts his hand on his shoulder* Ah, you are so reliable.
Jo looks at his hand on his shoulder and says that he should lower how he speaks, not lower his hand on him. Kyu tells him that he will tell him the day of the King so just follow what I say.
We visually see everything that Kyu explains.
Kyu – His day starts before dawn.
We see someone waking up Ha Sun as he sleeps in the Kings room. he stretches and then covers himself when he sees all the servants coming in to help him with his morning. They all set the food down on the ground, OMG, there are so many of them!). He literally does not do anything for himself. They help him wash his hands and blow his nose and congratulate him for blowing his nose.
Kyu – After cleaning, court lady Kim will dress you. She serves you the closest. For you to replace the King, you have to trick her first.
Court lady Kim comes in and bows, then she starts to help him dress in all his clothing He stands there rigid. he tries not to look at her, this is hilarious. She touches his leg in a sensual way so he bends down to stop her. She asks if he is uncomfortable but he says that he is not (oh, my back) and to continue.
Net up, the other maids come in, one of them was yelled at and harassed previously so she is worried. These are the maids that taste all the food for poison.
They go in and taste it all and then leave him to eat it.
Kyu – You should not eat the same thing twice in case the food is poisoned.
HS – POISONED!
Jo – This is customary, so don’t worry.
HS starts to take the food, he is hesitant but grabs some of it and eats it. He even says, Mmmmmm. Everyone looks up so he pretends like he had to clear his throat. Hmmmmmrgh mmrgh hmrgh. Court lady Kim looks like she is curious.
The girl comes up and is so nervous that she drops the water. HS grabs it and tells her not to worry, the water tastes good! Jo is all like, oh no, no no no no.
Later on, Ha Sun takes out a sword and stars to pretend to attack his enemies as if acting out a play. He pretends like he is stabbed and falls backward in his room, but that is when he accidentally falls through the wall to a secret passage. He hurries and closes the door.
Then he goes outside to walk around with Jo and chuckles to himself that he did a good job. What do you think? Jo tells him that he needs to be a bit more reserved.
HS – What should I do more of?
Jo – Not that, you need to not take your hand out or show yourself or smile, don’t do any of that.
HS – I should do nothing?
Jo – Yeeeeeessssss.
HS walks away quickly, Jo runs to follow and all the servants follow and all the guards follow. There are so many people following. But he sees the Queen looking stoically off at the scenery. he is stunned.
HS – Who is that woman?
Jo – The Queen
HS – What did you just say?
Jo – The Queen
HS – Q-q-q-queen?
Flashback to Kyu telling him that he should not see anyone in the woman side of the palace. You should avoid her.
HS hides as the Queen’s maid comes out. But she notices him and can still see him because his hat is high so it looks like rabbit ears.
Jo hides and all the servants hide as well, lol\.
Jo – The queen is coming, your Highness.
HS stands up and sees the Queen coming so he takes off running. Jo calls your highness!!!! as he runs after him. Everyone wonders what is going on.
Even later, Ha Sun has to sit in on all the politician meetings and all those things. he is bored out of his mind. he tells the next person to come in, it is Chisoo.
Jo motions for HS to get it together as Chisoo steps forward.
CS – Your Highness, how was your night?
HS – I was okay
CS – That is good. I did not sleep because you worry about him. Did you decide what to do with him?
HS – Well….well….for his punishment…*he looks at Jo*
CS – You should kill him and make an example out of him. Please let me do it.
Kyu flashback – If someone asks you for a grant, you should do it.
HS – Okay, do it!
CS – Okay….I will think that you will give an official order….*looks stunned*
But he relaxes when Chilsoo leaves. he asks Jo who that person is. Jo says he is the first prime minister. HS is all like, okay. But who is the guy then? Jo looks so worried.
Cut to the Queen’s maid running in to tell the Queen that the King granted the execution of her father. Sowoon immediately goes to see him. They tell her that he is taking a nap. She wants to go in anyway, but Kim tells her that she should not and steps in her way. Sowoon tells her, how dare you stop me? So Kim steps out of the way to let her pass.
Inside, Ha Sun frets about the queen coming! he does not know what to do and runs to stand behind his desk.
SW comes in and kneels in front of him.
SW – I am here to show my fathers innocence with my death.
She pulls out a woman’s dagger and tries to kill herself. Ha Sun runs and stops her but falls on top of her in the moment. He asks her what she is doing! She says that he should have expected this when he granted her fathers execution. He is able to take the knife away from her but it is a bit of a struggle.
He asks her what she wants, she says that she wants him to save her father, that is all that she wants. She asks, are you sincere? he says he will not lie about someone’s life. I promise this to you. They both sit on the ground like this for a moment. He lets go of her arms and runs back to retrieve her knife. he tells her that he will keep it. She is teary as she looks at him.
Meanwhile, Kyu walks to the King’s chambers, angry. He opens the door and takes his hat off.
LK – Do you think this is a CLOWNS PLAY! ARGHHHHHHHHH!
He runs and jumps on ha Sun’s seat. Ha Sun has to run to avoid him. Lee Kyu tries to attack ha Sun, but Ha Sun manages to dodge it all, this is pretty funny. Kyu tells Jo to catch him so Ha Sun turns around, but Jo is outside, not inside so it was a ruse. Kyu is able to grab Ha Sun and puts him in a joke hold. Ha SUn barely gets out that he told him to grant all requests! But then he kind of passes out.
However, he is revived right away when Kyu lets him go. He kneels in front of Kyu to explain that he just did what he told him to do. Kyu tells him that Chisoo is the evilest person in all of Korea, you have to be careful with him. Ha Sun tells him that he has to save the father in law, he promised the Queen. Kyu tells him that this is none of his business, just stop.
he goes outside and tells Jo that Jo will need to support him better so this kind of thing won’t happen again. Jo thinks it would be better to have a statue instead of him.
In the Queen’s chambers, her head maid dresses her wound on her arm. The Queen tells her not to be angry, I had to do it. The maid says that she understands her, but how can you? If the King did not stop you, then what would happen? Sowoon says that she did not expect him to do that. Aeyoung wonders if he will keep his promise?
SOwoon says that you never know, but today reminds me of a time in the past. (flashback) I was crying because of this unfamiliar life in the palace (she sits with the King). He did not ask me any reasons or yell at me (he places a hand on her hand). He just reminded me of the King that held my hand.
Nightfall, Kyu walks to a building where there is a monk there praying. The monk stops and asks if he came. Kyu asks, where is he? The monk says that he was looking for something that they did not have there, so I kicked him out to a monastery. Kyu leaves and goes to a mountain? He overhears drums playing and music and sees the King sitting in a trance as a woman dances in front of him.
It looks like a shamanic ceremony possibly? Lee Hun gets up and puts a lot of blood on his face and then spills it all around. Kyu is taken aback at the sight. Later on, Lee Hun lays in a high on his bed as he holds the opioid pipe. Kyu asks him what he should do, your first minister asked for an execution. Lee Hun thinks he would, it is the perfect opportunity for him.
Kyu asks him what to do. Lee hun sits up and says I will grant it. But the Queen will look at me like you are looking at me. Will, she hate me?….Just leave. Kyu is stunned.
he goes back and gives the order to Ha Sun. Ha Sun opens it but does not know how to read Chinese Characters and has it upside down. he asks what is there.
Kyu – I will tell you what is there, memorize it. take his position and kill him.
HS – Kill him? What about my promise to the Queen?
Kyu – Your promise only works when you have the power to do it. Whatever you say without knowing anything, there is no weight on it. If you want to survive, then listen to me. There are only two ways to survive here, completely crush that person, or completely ignore them. DOn’t forget, take all his positions and execute him.
Kyu leaves. HS looks very worried.
Cut to Kyu sitting on the throne with this order weighing on him. Chisoo stands in front of him with all the politicians flanking him. Chisoo asks for the order.
Ha Sun in handed the order (it is upside down again).
HS – The Sinner, Yoo Jo-joon, take all his positions and…..put him on an island.
The politicians murmer in the audience. One of them asks why the King changed his mind. Maybe he has a little suspicion.
The politicians look at ha Sun, he hides his face behind the order.
Outside, Chisoo talks to Kyu about what he might have done to Lee Hun, he might regret it. Ha Sun tells him that life has regrets, you have to accept it, life is like that.
In the stepmother’s chambers, Daebi wonders why he is still alive? Their plan of kicking CHisoo out is also ruined. She is talking to Jinpyung. He thinks it might be good. Saving his father in laws life means that he does not trust Shin Chisoo. But Chisoo will not just let this go. There will be a war between them.
DB – Any street dog should know that. DOn’t test my patience. If you don’t have a proper plan for taking the position, then tell me.
JP – I am sorry to worry you, I have a plan, trust me.
DB – What are you doing Please give the prince a tea.
(Ah, so it looks like Jinpyung is a prince but maybe a distant prince).
Elsewhere, Kyu goes into the King’s chambers and holds Ha Sun by the collar. how dare you! You said you can’t read but how do you know that word! ( the island word)
Jo looks at something as if he had nothing to do with it. Kyu looks at jo, Jo tries to ignore him but it is clear that he told him.
Jo – He just asks me what the next worse thing was than execution, so I just thought he was curious about it. I will make sure that this never happens again.
Kyu drops ha Sun to the floor and walks to jo.
Kyu – If this happens again, where you stay will not be here, but in the restroom.
He turns back to Ha Sun who is still on the floor. Then he leaves. Ha Sun is so nervous and breathes a sigh of relief when Kyu leaves. Jo also breathes a sigh of relief.
The next day (or later on that day?) Ha Sun goes outside to talk to Kyu but so many staff members are there so he has to pull him to the side and asks when the father in law will go to the island. Kyu tells him that it will be soon. Ha Sun thinks that the queen will want to tell her father farewell.
Kyu explains that whoever comes into the palace cannot leave the palace. That is the fate of the person who marries the King.
HS – God-given fate is before Confuscious.
Kyu – Did Jo also tell you that?
HS – Well….*chuckles*…..sorry
Kyu – Okay, I will take her by myself.
HS – Are you sure!
Cut to Sowoon meeting her father as he walks with the guards behind him. She runs to his side with her maid and holds his hands. It is a nice reunion. They both look at themselves lovingly and say that they are happy to see each other like this at least. He tells her not to cry, I am grateful that I can walk using my own feet due to his mercy.
Sowoon cries a bit more and then the maid comes up and gives him clothing that the Queen made herself. He cries at the gift and tells her that he will enjoy it.
SW – Be strong, be in good health, do not worry about me. I will support the King until you come back
The father turns to the west (to the Palace?) and thanks the King for his mercy and tells him, until we see each other, please stay strong.
Much later on, when it is dark out, Sowoon thanks Kyu for this. Kyu tells him that he just followed the Kings order. Sowoon is surprised that the King said that.
Jo introduces the Kings night snack. The maid that is so afraid of him enters with a deep breath. She bows and gives him the food. he tells her that he feels good today. He asks her her name. She says that her name is Gae-hwan and she is 15. She also tells him what his snack is, juk. he says it looks good. But her stomach growls.
HS – Did you skip your meal?
GH – You ate all of your breakfast, we usually get your breakfast as dinner.
HS – *puts his spoon down* taste this first.
She gets up to taste it.
HS – But wait, if you eat it quickly then it will burn your mouth, so eat slowly.
GH – Yes, your highness.
She tastes it, he tells her to taste it again so she does.
HS – What does it taste like?
GH – It is good
HS – Keep eating it *smiles*
But then he thinks about his sister and wonders if his sister is eating?
Cut to his sister begging Woonsim to save her brother. WS tells her that her brother is not abducted. Dalrae cries as she asks if he is already dead? She cries some more. One of the clowns tells her something but then is able to stop the head Gisaeng from hitting her when she comes in complaining about the noise. Woon-sim comforts Dalrae and tells her that he will find out about her brother, so stop crying.
She leaves but is seen by that creepy nobleman. Woonsim asks him if he needs anything? He asks who that girl is so Woonsim tells him that she is a clown, she is not a gisaeng. He asks, she is not? I will be back next time.
he walks out, but it looks like his servant senses something? The nobleman yells for his horse. The servant comes out and asks if his master really wants that servant? If you pay me enough then I will bring her to your house. The nobleman gives the servant money so the servant smiles in a sinister way and says that he will bring her to him soon.
In the palace, ha Sun walks around outside collecting acorns. Jo asks him what he will use them for. He tells Jo that he will give them to his sister. Jo tells him that he can find better ones for him. But Ha Sun tells him that these he collected are from the palace so it is okay. Jo smiles.
Ha Sun then asks what something in the distance is. Jo explains that it is the back door to the palace for all the servants. Then he asks where another section is. That other section is another part of the gardens where the Queen and her servants are playing games.
Ha Sun asks what they are doing? Jo says that they are making wishes. A long time ago a court lady wished to get pregnant with the King, then threw a stone and got pregnant. that is the legend.
HS – Oh, but then why doesn’t the Queen pray?
Jo – With her position, how can she pray in the same way as the court ladies?
One of the court ladies sees the King and whispers to SW that the King is there. So the Queen goes to meet him.
SW – your highness
HS – Did I bother you?
SW – No, I wanted to see you anyway.
HS – Me?
SW – Yes, because of you I could send a farewell to my father
HS – It is nothing *smiles* you don’t have to thank me.
She does not smile and looks off to the side. He tells her to give him her hand. She puts her hand out but it is the wrong way so he gives her a sign to flip it over and then gives her acorns.
SW – These are acorns?
HS – Even if you want to wish, you can’t do it because you have o keep your dignity. There is a legend that if you bite an acorn, the goblin in the house will get scared and listen to your wish. When you are alone, bite it and ask for your wish, who knows. Your wish might come true.
She looks a bit taken aback, but as she heads out with her maids, she looks at the acorns that he gave her. There are three of them. The maids that are on her side smile. She puts the acorns back in her dress and continues walking.
That night, Gae-hwan is tasked with taking the Kings night snack to him on time. But this meal looks a bit suspicious. The camera lingers on it and then we see someone come to add poison to it. We do not see this person’s face.
Cut to Gae-hwan sitting in front of Ha Sun to give him his meal. He is about to eat it and asks her how she got to the palace. She says that her father did not pay his taxes.
Scene change to the evil servant telling Dalrae that he knows where her brother is. Come with me. She wants to tell Kabsoo before she leaves but the evil servant says that he will leave. So she goes with him. She ends up waiting in a storage-like room. She stands up when the door opens and thinks it is her brother, but it is that noble guy walking in. She asks who he is and starts backing away. He closes the door.
In the palace, Gae-hwan tells him that they could not find sea clams in the mountain. But the mayor gave her father a hard time so her father had to borrow money from the mayor’s secretary and buy the clams and give it to him. he did that repeatedly and could not continue so he had to sell me.
Ha Sun tells her that she is a poor girl, but she says that she does not blame her father. She has 6 siblings so at least he has one less mouth to feed and he can pay off his debt. Ha Sun looks pretty sad about it and thinks, “you think that way, that is good,” but he starts to cry. Ha Sun tells her that the mayor and the secretary are crazy, how dare they take advantage of normal citizens.
He pushes his evening snack to her to eat. But she says that she cannot. He tries to convince her.
HS – Delicious things don’t taste good unless you share them so you should eat them all the time. Cheer up.
She takes the food and eats it. He tells her to eat it slowly. She nods and takes another bite. But then she starts to feel a bit bad. She throws up.
Ha Sun asks her what happened? he goes to her side and says that he told her to eat slowly. She apologizes and throws up again, but she throws up blood this time. Then she falls to his side He holds her and asks if there is anyone out there? Anyone!
The doors open and Jo runs in to see this scene of the girl dying with all the blood coming up. he stands up and picks her up with him and runs all the way to the doctor. He tells the doctor to look at her right now!
The doctor comes out and pronounces that she is dead. He is sorry, but it is too late. He says late? What are you talking about?
Doctor – She died.
HS – Died? it shouldn’t be! She was just talking to me!
He tries to hold her and calls her name but she is limp in his arms so he collapses in front of her. General Moo-young turns to Kyu and asks, that thing? Is that? But Kyu tells him to shut up and walks to Jo.
Kyu – Take the King with you, he should not be alone.
Jo goes to the Kings side to take him with him. HS is stunned, but is able to stand up and walks back in a shocked and timid way.
Kyu watches him and then asks the doctor what he thinks happened. The doctor says that he has to look at it closely, but his guess is poison.
Ha Sun is shaking and standing in his quarters. Jo stands behind him, not sure of what to do. Ha Sun thinks about what Kyu said about how he should not eat the same food twice just in case his favorite food has poison in it. Then he thinks about telling Gae-hwan to eat all the food since he can eat it at any time.
Ha Sun collapses by his bed as COurtlady Kim comes in. She sits next to him but he tells her not to touch him. She tells him that he has to change his clothing. But he tells her to go away! EVERYONE GO AWAY! He tries to stop shaking.
They all leave.
A maid runs to Sowoon and tells her what happened.
Kyu tells Moo-young not to do anything until he gives him the order. Then he goes in to talk to Ha Sun.
Ha Sun stands up and says that this is why they need him! He is the one that will die for the King! I want to leave! I will live by myself!
Kyu tells him that if he leaves now then he will have to kill him. Ha Sun tells him to kill him. But Kyu tells him that if he leaves now, he will die and his sister and his uncle will die as well. You decide. He has a sword to his throat.
Jo calls and says that the Queen is here. Ha Sun tells them to let her in. Kyu has to put away his sword and move to a more subordinate position in the room. The Queen walks in and Kyu leaves after greeting the Queen. But he stares daggers at Ha Sun.
Ha Sun sits with the Queen in front of him and tries to stop shaking. They don’t say anything, she just kneels in front of him and waits for him to speak. But she notices his hand shaking and gets up to put her hand on his.
Then she starts wiping the blood off of it. He calms down a little bit, and she starts to wipe the blood from his face. Then she takes off his blood-stained garments.
HS – Queen….
SW – Yes, your highness?
HS – I am sorry.
Outside, Kyu paces and Jo frets. But Jo tells him that he should not go inside. However, Kyu says that he will go inside. he tells His Highness that he is coming in. He goes inside and sees that Ha Sun is not there, but the Queen is still sitting in front of his room.
Cut to Ha Sun running through the forest in the palace.
Sowoon leaves, distraught looking, and collapses as soon as she gets to the courtyard. Her maids run to her side.
Flashback to her conversation with Ha Sun
HS – I cannot stay in the palace anymore.
WS – your honor, calm down
HS – I cannot do it anymore, I have to leave right now.
he gets up to leave but she grabs his arm
WS – Your Highness, you told me, when you were a prince that you can do anything so long as I am next to you. Don’t let our hands go and we will laugh together and cry together and live our life like friends.
he turns back to her.
WS – you asked me why I came here tonight, I am here to be with you. To smile together and cry together, that is why I came here. I will do this with you so don’t be discouraged.
HS – No, I can’t help… (or something like that)
he removes her hand and turns to leave through his secret back door. He runs away. Several tears fall as Sowoon watches him leave.
Kyu tells the guards to find his highness before anything happens. Look outside the palace as well.
Ha Sun keeps running away and gets to a back gate that is about to close. he gets to the Giseang house but is being kept from going inside. The gisaeng Woonsim comes out and then Kabsoo yells for him and is crying. He cries and tries to tell him about what happened to his sister. Why are you looking for her now? It is too late…she waited for you for so long….
He bursts inside and sees his sister sleeping in bed. She sits up and hugs him, she is so happy to see him. But she has scratches on her face and is bruised. he asks what happened, who did this to you? Tell me, it is okay. Kabsoo comes in so Hasun asks why she is like this.
Kabsoo says it is because she is so surprised. One guy said that you wanted to see her so he took her…she refused him so he made her face like this. I am the bad guy. Without you, I should have watched out for her better. I am the bad one.
Hasun hugs his sister tightly and cries into her shoulder. Woonsim is in the room as well and looks away as brother and sister both cry together.
HS – Who is that bastard.
WS – He is not a person you can handle
HS – JUST TELL ME WHO HE IS!
WS – Shin Yi-kyeom, the first prime minister’s son.
Ha-sun turns back to his sister and squeezes her hands and then heads out. he grabs his face mask. Then we cut to ha Sun threatening the bad slave servant man. He has a knife to his throat and goes to Shin Yi-kyeom’s house to call him out. The servant is already cut on the throat and yells for Yi-kyeom to save his life.
Shin Chisoo comes out and asks if his son knows this person, who is it this time? The son says it was a clown performers sister. he tells his servants to pay as much as a dog would be and then turns to leave. The servants start to beat Ha Sun as he tells them that his sister is not a dog! Then another man comes out and throws two coins to Ha Sun. He tells him that he is alive due to his master’s mercy.
Ha Sun holds back his anger as he looks at the coins.
At the Giseang house, Kyu finally gets there and asks if Ha Sun came. She says that he took him, ever since you took him I have not seen him here. Kyu tells her to get ahold of him if he comes. Woosim tells him that she will.
At the same time, the real King comes drunkenly stumbling back into the palace. he might be high.
In the morning, Mooyoung tells Kyu that the King is back. Kyu goes to the King’s throne and sees him sitting there with a sword. He walks to him and says that his highness came back without notice.
The king stands and walks to Kyu with the sword dragging on the ground
King – You told me that there are only two ways to survive in the palace.
Kyu looks up, he realizes that this is ha SUn.
Kyu – You ran away to survive, so why did you come back?
HS – I came back to learn how to crush and kill. Teach me the way.
The drums start to beat.
Kyu looks at Ho Sun intensely.
Ha Sun looks at Kyu intently.
Somehow, this team was able to make a second episode that was so thrilling while still maintaining an innocence until the innocence was completely shattered. My word, this episode was so good, I felt the stakes of the characters. Usually you see and understand the stakes, but you don’t really feel them along with the characters on screen. For me, I definitely feel the stakes for Ha Sun and want him to succeed. That poor baby! I feel for all the clown troupe, for the Queen in the palace, and just everyone in general.
Jo – Why did you come back?
HS – I am back to give back what I received
LH – That low-class guy has a condition?
HS – It does not matter if I enjoy the power. He has all his dirty things in his brain!
Jo – When did you learn how to shoot arrows like that?
HS – I am a natural.