Tree With Deep Roots – Ep 3 Recap

A/N: I almost gave up, this post hasn’t wanted to get written- It got deleted when I was more than two thirds done, but here it is a bajillion years later…

What I like about this episode is that though we get some answers-we get even more questions! yay for not divulging everything right away- though surprisingly this being a sageuk and all – I found myself laughing?! Of course not the Lee Do parts… the parts with Ddol Bok in it… 

THis episode starts with the Walk of Doom, As the archers shoot, and everyone of the arrows fly past Lee Do and land on the targets as he calmly walks in the midst.

Lee Do has come to do what Mu Hyul had suggested he do: Retreat and Regroup. Ostensibly he has come to greet and beg for forgiveness- for his father to save him since his actions were worthy of death but to die before his parents is also dishonorable towards his parents. He assures his father that he will follow whatever he says and learn everything about leading from his father. Of course he will also let his father continue to lead the royal army.

King Taejong is no fool and notices that though he talks of filial piety, sense of royalty and courtesy there is one thing missing among all those.

He gets off of his throne and walks towards Lee Do until he is right beside him. Is it bad that I find it awesome that he sasses his father? heh 😛

King TJ: Among what you said the only thing missing is sincerity. You are a punk without an ounce of sincerity Am I wrong?

Lee Do: Since Father is still healthy and hasn’t lost his insight I am very happy to see it.

King Tae Jeong asks if he received the empty food box and if he understood it’s meaning.  Lee Do tells him, that no he didn’t receive any food box but he did receive the magic square puzzle (a.k.a Lo Shu Square). It was a puzzle whose chambers were empty. Thanks to his father he arrived at how to solve puzzle and he arrived at his answer for his Joseon.

[…] Joseon Where you, Father, do not exist. I will live longer than you fahter so ‘prepare the world for when you are absent’ It had that meaning.

Taejong tries to explain about what the box had meant but Lee Do interrupts him saying that it would be in both their best interests to let things stay as they are, since other than Lee Do Taejeong has no alternative plan.

With something akin to admiration Taejeong says ” You punk you must have found you own answers. your Joseon!

Taejeong resumes his place at his throne and Lee Do informs him that he wants to create a place in which all the best minds gather to investigate and  create knowledge. He asks h9is father to allow it and to name it as he wants. Taejeong decides that he’ll take the name from a Goryeo era similar type of gathering: Jip Hyun. Lee Do tries it out for himself and likes the ring to Jip Hyun Jeong- The Hall of Worthies.

Later in a more private setting Taejong and Lee Do have a chat about what Lee Do will do from then on.

Lee Do wants to avoid using force against his people, instead he will use word and gain people’s heart and trust.  It will be a place where there is not only 1, but 2,3,4,5 and 6 in their places doing their part in creating Joseon. He says that he knows that it will take time but that he’ll be patient and wait.

Taejong is incredulous. What does his son mean with wait? with what time? What he needs to be doing instead of waiting is cementing the power of the king. A 26 year old nation has no time to waste waiting and having dialogues with people.

As they’ve come to an impasse since their ideologies Lee Do gets up and starts to leave, but Taejeong stops him asking if he’s heard mention of Milbon. Lee Do confirms that he’s heard of it but that he believes that its just local gossip and nothing substantial.

However King Taejeong replies that it’s real and that it was created by Jeong Do Jeon. Lee Do counters that even if it had been created there’s no one to take over the group since Jeong Do Jeon’s allies were either killed or exiled and don’t have any power at the moment.

King Taejeong believes that Jeong Ki Jeon would be a potential leader for the group. He asks his son if his plan to have a Joseon where there is dialogue with the king is influenced by JKJ, but Lee Do fakes being ignorent of who JKJ is.

Through a flashback, we see a young Lee Do overseeing with his father a civil examination. He watches as a young man finishes his exam and places his paper on the judges table. Curiosity urges Lee Do to read what the young man had written.

Written on the paper is what amounts to a declaration against the king. He calls the king a false leader since the real one is the government body as a whole. Lee Do is shocked, angry and of course curious as to why the guy would have written something like that at an examination, and so he finds himself following the boy to a temple.

Inside they have a discussion about the laws of government, and Lee Do’s angry to be treated like a know-nothing, but doesn’t do anything but trade angry word. However when JKJ once again insults his father, LD’s fist reacts before his brain does, and all JKJ does is smirk at him, like father like son, both using violence instead of discourse to sort a problem. LD has no answer to that, so when JKJ leaves, he follows.

When they arrive at the place where JKJ’s father is teaching they see that soldiers had arrived ahead of them. JKJ tells LD to see just how his father gets rid of rivals. LD is surprised, he’d obviously never thought that his father would retaliate so harshly for words written on paper. But even as he’s telling JKJ that it must be a mistake, he is also realizing that his father can be an irrational dictator bent on destroying his opponents no matter who they are, which is why he tries to stop JKJ from turning himself in. JKJ smirks at LD and says the words that have haunted LD since then, “you can’t do anything.”

Once JKJ turns himself in, he’s beaten to an inch of his life, and as the military leader is about to finish the job and execute him, his father and his archers come racing on horseback and save him from certain death. JKJ’s eyes as he leaves the area meet with LD’s and they seem to mock him.

King Taejeong is lost in his own memories of that day and night. After the failed attempt to get rid of JKJ, he’d gone out himself to look for clues to their whereabouts. He notices the jars standing on strangely loose soil, so he orders his soldiers to remove the jars and brush the dirt away, sure enough there’s a secret entrance to an underground passage.

He and his men enter the underground passage and with torchlight they come across a message carved into the stone. It was a message from Jeong Do Jeon to the nobles.

If a king is a flower it’s root is a minister. When it’s flower is not healthy the tree won’t die, but when the root is not healthy the tree will die. The unhealthy flower can be just broken off, the king only decides the minister it is the position where he discusses things with the minister. It is just the luxurious symbolic figure of Joseon. The root of Joseon is the minister. The noble men of Joseon, become the root! be the scholars sustaining Joseon. Train the great officials and select the wise and able minister. As a result the tree of Joseon can last for thousands of years. Be the root of roots! This is why I, Jeong Do Jeon am the root of Joseon. The hidden root Milbon! This is why I made Milbon, you noblement be the roots of Joseon! Protect Joseun!

– Milbon’s first member Jeong Do Jeon

King Tae Jeong glowers, he’d finally understood the cryptic words Jeong Do Jeon had told him before his death.

A flower is just a flower. It cannot become a root or kill the root.

We’re back to present day and both the former King and the present King have the same name in mind but with two different objectives. King Taejeong charges the military captain to find the men from Milbon and kill them. On the other hand Lee Do has asked Mu Hyeol to find them and find JKJ so that he could join JipHyun.

All this time Ddol Bok has been tied and kept prisoner in a shed, apparently they want to break him, or at least get him to stop being so angry. I also want him to stop being such a noisy disagreeable kid, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the way to go about it.

Turns out that the two men who were being chased by the King Taejeong’s men were asked by the woman leader of Ban Chon to show up so that she could give them the sash. It turns out to be the original letter by JDJ setting up Milbon.

Since the two men went into the Banchon area the army is unable to pursue them, however King Taejong order that they chase them, but they mustn’t get caught because if they are he won’t be saving them, they’ll be treated as traitors.

As the soldiers now dressed in rogue wear- all black suits that covered their faces- run towards the temple where the Milbon members are having their reunion (btw how did they know that they would go there? just a question.. Also they still look military what with their formation) Ddol bok finally frees himself by burning off the rope that tied him.  Now free Ddol Bok runs out of the storage hut as it begins to burn. The villagers see the smoke and see hiim run and they start to give chase.

Ddol Bok runs and runs until he finally reaches a clear area, except that instead of finding it empty, it’s filled with the soldiers turned rogues and he’s caught in the middle since the villagers are hot on his heels. Truly caught between a rock and hard place, Ddol Bok looks around frantically trying to find an escape route without luck.

Inside the temple, leader lady helps the two men into a passage beneath the temple that leads out. She then goes out to find out what all the noise is about and is flabbergasted to see the black clad assassins and her villagers having a stare-off. It’s funny that both sides somehow think that Ddol Bok is the responsible one for their current situation, one of the villagers even ask Ddol Bok who he is.

After a few strained moments in which each group assess each other the military assassins are ordered to attack and get rid of the problem as soon as possible and then leave fast. Meanwhile the army leader goes off in search of the two Milbon men and sends a man to the rest of the army stationed just outside of Banchon.

Ddol Bok uses the distraction to run away from the fight. He runs into the two men the army is chasing and actually pulls off the man from his horse (this guy is clearly a scholar and not at all a warrior). So now Ddol Bok has a horse, but in the hurry he didn’t notice that the pouch with his father’s will inside had been torn off.

At the same time that Ddol Bok realizes that the pouch is missing the Milbon people notice that the horse DB took was the one where the Milbon letter was in…(me thinks such an important document should have stayed on guys bodies, that way superfluous baggage can be ditched at any moment.).

Since everybody is looking for something we get a cool ending scene with people running through the forest like headless chickens… except Mu Hyeol, because he’s the epitome of cool.

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