I’m not going to jump the gun and say Scholar Who Walks the Night got immensely better in this episode alone, but I personally vaulted over a few roadblocks that have been niggling at me for episodes on end now. That’s like winning a personal battle of sorts, and certainly makes recapping fun again rather than wading through the tedium with the hope of things getting better. The switch flip isn’t wholly emotion sans validation, the narrative has tightened up and the main OTP connection start to coalesce into something stirring beyond romance because the two leads in a drama must get together.
Lee Yoo Bi gets her turn to shine, a bit late perhaps to change the perception that her character is terribly useless and her performance a tad cutesy, but it’s better late than never the way I see it. If Yang Sun is the leading lady then she needs to step up in all ways integral to the story. She does so with a dose of fire in this episode, digging in her heels when it comes to Sung Yul and confronting him on all the mixed messages he’s been sending her way. Yoon continues to be the most comforting presence onscreen, having conviction and doubts but wanting to finally take a stand against Gwi. Sung Yul and Yoon’s paths will soon cross and with it the story might have a chance to fully blossom after showing its potential again in this episode.
Episode 7 recap:
Yang Sun is the one to find the critically injured Sung Yul, taking him to an abandoned hut where he promptly passes out after ordering her not to summon a doctor. Ho Jin and Soo Hyang are at wit’s end, unable to find Sung Yul and worried that tonight is the once a month required feeding that will keep him alive. Soo Hyang is certain that Sung Yul will return because he’s never missed a feeding.
Yang Sun pulls open Sung Yul’s robe and stars wide-eyed in dismay at the severity of his injuries. She cries while doing her best to tend to him without being able to get a doctor.
Yang Sun heads back out to the forest to look for a plant she knows can help stop the bleeding, falling down and cutting herself when trying to pluck the plant. She mashes it up and places it on Sung Yul’s knife wound, explaining that if even this plant can’t stop the bleeding then she will go summon a doctor.
Yang Sun can’t find any clean cloth to bandage the wound so she ends up undressing and removing her chest bindings to use on Sung Yul. To bandage his wound Yang Sun ends up leaning close to Sung Yul, seeing another wound on his shoulder leading her to wonder who exactly is Sung Yul that he’s got all these battle scars.
It’s late into the night and Yang Sun remains keeping vigil over the still unconscious Sung Yul. He finally regains consciousness as the moon rises high in the sky, the blood coursing painfully through his body.
A grieving father pays a visit to his son’s grave and notices that the coffin has been unearthed. He opens the coffin to find Gwi sleeping inside and is immediately grabbed to become vampire food. Back at Sung Yul’s residence, Soo Hyang and Ho Jin start crying at the sight of the full moon high in the sky with still no sign of Sung Yul returning at this critical juncture.
Yang Sun returns to find Sung Yul’s fever has broken but then freaks out when she thinks he’s not breathing. She tries to shake him awake and cries over him, her tears mixing with the blood from the cut on her face and it drips on Sung Yul’s lips. Sung Yul awakens from the accidental but much needed blood and can barely control his animal instincts, nearly biting Yang Sun when she happily hugs him.
Sung Yul finally gains control over himself and harshly pushes Yang Sun away while shielding his almost exposed fangs from her. Sung Yul tells Yang Sun to come with him and rushes out of the cabin, desperately trying to make it back home. Yang Sung watches him in pain and tries to help but only gets pushed aside as we see her presence keeps inciting Sung Yul’s vampire side to come out.
Thankfully Ho Jin and Soo Hyang find Sung Yul, with Soo Hyang taking him to feed while Sung Yul orders Ho Jin to take Yang Sun back to the village immediately. Ho Jin drags an unwilling Yang Sun off while Sung Yul forces himself to head back to feed.
Sung Yul finds a man tied up for his feeding, with the man frightened of what’s to come while Sung Yul screams in agony at having to kill. Sung Yul bites down on the man’s neck and his screams reverberate in the air, leading Yang Sun to wonder at the sound that Ho Jin chalks up to wild animals. Gwi is recovered and tracks down the hut where Yang Sun took Sung Yul to heal, confirming that Sung Yul was there.
Yang Sun’s adopted father looks at Prince Jonghyun’s memoir in his possession and flashes back to what happened ten years ago, when the officials stormed Teacher Seo’s residence to arrest him and look for the memoir. Teacher Seo hide Seo Jin away and handed her protection and the memoir to the adopted father. The adopted father is about to burn the memoir to ensure Yang Sun’s safety as it’s paramount to him, but thankfully he’s interrupted by his wife and ends up not going through with it.
Sung Yul finishes his feeding and is physically all recovered but remains emotionally torn up. He pulls open his robe and finds the knife wound now healed thanks to his feeding, yet another reminder of his monster existence. He stares at the bloody cloth that Yang Sun used to bandage him.
Hye Ryung is tending to the injured Gwi, mentioning how she was concerned he didn’t return and discussing the spreading of new flyers about Gwi among the public. Gwi isn’t scared or worried since the lowly people with no power can do nothing to harm him. She wonders how he’s going to find the Lecherous Scholar and Gwi’s way is go all out, arrest all the scholars and use that as a warning to lure the real deal out before the innocent suffer.
Yang Sun returns home tired and remains worried about Sung Yul.
Sung Yul gets dressed the next day and is immediately called out by Ho Jin to deal with a crisis. All the scholars of Sungkyunkwan have been arrested by officials, a sign that Gwi is going to kill as many as he wants until the real Lecherous Scholar is revealed.
Sung Yul stops the arrest procession and declares to the head guard that he’s the Lecherous Scholar, and then proceeds to beat up all the government officials and saving the arrested scholars. He has Ho Jin take all the scholars to the port to be sent away to safety.
Elsewhere, the suffering families of the murdered booksellers are all given bags of money with a note from the Lecherous Scholar.
Yoon hears that the Lecherous Scholar has taken care of the families of the dead booksellers, a feat that Yoon notes is quite impressive to pull off. He wonders who has been doing this in the name of the Lecherous Scholar. He then gets informed that the Sungkyunkwan scholars have all disappeared and the officials who arrested them claim it was the Lecherous Scholar who saved them.
Sung Yul is updated about the public changing their perspective of the Lecherous Scholar to positive after word has spread of what he’s done. Ho Jin has washed all of Sung Yul’s bloody clothes from last night and points out that one item is a woman’s chest binding.
Ho Jin talks with Soo Hyang about the possibility that Yang Sun is a woman, and has been staring at Sung Yul with moon eyes recently. Soo Hyang orders Ho Jin to stop talking as this reveal obviously doesn’t sit well with her.
Sung Yul sits in his study, staring at the farewell gift Yang Sun left for him as well as how she cried in relief when he awoke from his injury.
Yang Sun has medicine she wants to deliver to Sung Yul but her little sister won’t let her out of the house. Yang Sun explains that Sung Yul is very important to her since he saved her life so many times, promising not to get captured by the authorities and coming straight back after making sure he’s fine. Little sister asks if Yang Sun has fallen for the Scholar and that appears to be the first time Yang Sun has realized that possibility.
Sung Yul pays a secret visit to the one-armed bookseller who remains locked up by Yoon until he agrees to help look for the memoir. The bookseller drinks his soup and cries before looking up in shock to see the dead Crown Prince sitting across from him. He bows and asks the Prince to kill him for the betrayal. The Prince says his death was not the bookseller’s fault but the bookseller is ready to tell the entire truth to Yoon before killing himself to join the Prince. The Prince suddenly disappears as Sung Yul appears before the bookseller.
Yoon gets an update that the one-armed bookseller has disappeared and no one knows how he vanished when the guards never left their spots.
Sung Yul takes the one-armed bookseller back to his place and uses his super speed to prevent him from running away. The bookseller sees that Sung Yul is super human but would rather die than help a vampire monster. Sung Yul identifies himself as Kim Sung Yul and his name is familiar to the bookseller. Sung Yul explains that when Gwi killed Prince Jonghyun, Sung Yul was turned and since then he has been looking for the missing memoir.
The bookseller doesn’t want to believe him but Sung Yul knows all the details, including the dead Crown Prince saying that his name appears in the memoir. If Gwi finds out that Yoon is the Lecherous Scholar then he will kill the royal grandson as well, does the bookseller want that to happen? Sung Yul needs his help to find the memoir and stop Gwi. The bookseller kneels down and confesses that he doesn’t know where the memoir is right now but he read it once. There are five names in the memoir, and at the end there is a page containing a farewell message from Prince Jonghyun to his good friend Kim Sung Yul.
Ho Jin deposits the one-armed bookseller in the resident and is asked if he’s also a vampire. Ho Jin explains that he’s human and tries to describe Sung Yul as no different than a human. He also reveals that Sung Yul has been taking care of all the humans who have suffered from Gwi’s power trip evil deeds, including helping the Lecherous Scholar.
Sung Yul wonders if the memoir contains the secret to destroying Gwi, and whether that secret is really a person? If so, the five names in the memoir, could it be the clues to finding the memoir?
Yang Sun un-cross-dresses back to her female self and prepares to head out to see Sung Yul. Little sister Tan compliments her unni as being the prettiest girl in Hanyang, and also no one will recognize her as the bookseller. Yang Sun denies that she likes Sung Yul but her little sister is certain that they like each other. He keeps saving Yang Sun for a reason, and her worry for him also shows her feelings. Tan is super sweet and wants to get better soon so that they can return to Hanyang as quickly as possible so Yang Sun can be reunited with Sung Yul.
Yang Sun walks through the marketplace and sure enough no one recognizes her in girl clothes. She still plays it save and ducks when she sees officers walking by. The officers post an announcement that a reward will be offered for any tips that lead to the arrest of the Lecherous Scholar. The public wonders if what the Lecherous Scholar said was true and Yang Sun pipes up that it’s true which is why the authorities are trying to arrest the Lecherous Scholar.
Yang Sun hears that the Lecherous Scholar has been helping the poor, giving out money to help those suffering. She wonders if that’s correct since it sounds like something the Scholar Who Walks the Night would do. Sung Yul is there and takes this all in.
As Sung Yul turns to leave, Yang Sun notices him but he only has eyes for the passing by Hye Ryung. She purposely stops and stares right back at Sung Yul, remembering Gwi’s order for her to bring him Kim Sung Yul. Hye Ryung makes a deal with Gwi, if she brings him Kim Sung Yul then he’ll make her the King’s woman. Gwi agrees to this deal.
Hye Ryung smiles at Sung Yul and her smile makes her look exactly like the dead Myung Hee. She walks off and Sung Yul is about to follow when Yang Sun calls his name. He stops in his tracks and takes note of her awkward smile at seeing him. He tells her to go home and walks off after Hye Ryung before she can offer him the medicine.
Yoon walks through town with his friend and sees the new reward posters, wondering why the person posing as the Lecherous Scholar is doing things to help that name. He wonders if the person knows that Yoon is the Lecherous Scholar. His friend assures Yoon that he has people out investigating.
Yoon sees Yang Sun walking past, not surprised that she’s a girl while his friend is really shocked. His friend gives Yoon the next free hour and Yoon happily follows behind Yang Sun. He calls out, asking the lady for the way but Yang Sun doesn’t answer until Yoon asks the young man for directions. Yang Sun is teased for calling Yoon hyung-nim and he asks her to call him oroabeoni when she’s dressed as a girl. Yang Sun plays it off, telling Yoon not to tease a boy like that. Yoon agrees because if Yang Sun really was a girl then he would make her his lover.
Yoon gives Yang Sun the out, asking if she’s cross-dressing because of the authorities chasing her. He looks alarmed to notice her injuries and wonders why she hasn’t left for Jeju yet. Yang Sun explains something came up and she’s leaving in the next few days, but is happy to see him again. She notices that Yoon looks upset and hears that something he has been planning for years may be disrupted. Yang Sun leans close, staring at Yoon’s face and explaining that he has the features of someone who will make things happen.
Their conversation is interrupted when more scholars are arrested and led away right in front of them. Yang Sun decries the country as headed to hell in a handbasket and wishes the Lecherous Scholar could govern the country properly. Yoon wonders why she doesn’t hate the Lecherous Scholar since he’s causing the people to suffer now. Yang Sun does hate him a little, but the people have been suffering before he appeared and now at least they have a sliver of hope. Yoon says her words would give the Lecherous Scholar strength to keep going.
Hye Ryung knows that Sung Yul is following and allows him to intercept her. She quiets her maid and allows Sung Yul to stare his fill. Sung Yul is certain that she’s not Myung Hee and asks why Hye Ryung smiled at him back there. Hye Ryung claims that she had no choice but to smile with how Sung Yul was staring at her, thinking he might call her Myung Hee and break into tears. She orders him to not mistaking her for Myung Hee and not to follow her anymore. Hye Ryung walks into the residence and Sung Yul realizes where she lives.
Yoon chews out his retainer for why Yang Sun is still here when he claimed to have seen her get on the boat for Jeju. He warns the man that the next slip up and Yoon won’t let it go.
Yang Sun pays Soo Hyang a visit to have her pass the medicine to Sung Yul. She overhears Soo Hyang discussing the next boat for Jeju with the man helping her family go there. She sets down with Soo Hyang who explains that Yang Sun is in danger which is why Sung Yul is planning to send her to Jeju for her own safety. It’s also to keep Sung Yul safe, what if Yang Sun is arrested and questioned about her search for the memoir.
Yang Sun wants Soo Hyang to stop assuming what she feels for Sung Yul, claiming she will do what is best for him. Soo Hyang scoffs at that since Sung Yul was gravely injured yesterday because of Yang Sun. If she has even a sliver of gratitude for Sung Yul then she’ll go to Jeju and that is the best thing she can do for Sung Yul.
Sung Yul watches Yoon gather all his secret followers for a meeting where he announces that he will no longer live as the royal grandson and will reveal that he is the Lecherous Scholar to the world. His followers try to dissuade him from moving so fast, they need more time to deal with Gwi and reveal his existence to the world. Yoon can’t wait because so many innocents are suffering now. His friend offers to become the Lecherous Scholar but Yoon needs to do it himself so that the people will believe and follow him. Then maybe the person who has the memoir will bring it to Yoon and help him destroy Gwi.
Sung Yul has decided to help Yoon and wants to help expose the existence of vampires to the world. Soo Hyang thinks that is too dangerous but Sung Yul sees Yoon’s willingness to risk his own life to battle Gwi, just like what Prince Jonghyun and Crown Prince Sado did. Sung Yul will not let Yoon die in their footsteps. Soo Hyang worries that a bloodshed will come from it but Sung Yul vows to save everyone, even down to the last life, so that those who survive can tell the world about the vampires and more will follow Yoon.
Eventually the memoir will appear and Gwi can be destroyed. Sung Yul has survived this long waiting to destroy Gwi, but if he can help the Lecherous Scholar do so then he is willing to give his own life.
Gwi continues his killing spree, this time sucking the blood of all the officers that arrested the Sungkyunkwan scholars who were later rescued by Sung Yul. He summons the King to witness this scene and orders the King to capture the person. The King points out that the person must have special abilities to do so much. Gwi agrees and it upsets him that such a person is helping the Lecherous Scholar. Which is why the King needs to bring him the Lecherous Scholar as soon as possible.
Yang Sun’s adopted father is going out to look for her and his wife offers to do it, explaining that she just can’t like Yang Sun because of how much her husband is so good to her. He brushes her aside and heads out to find Yang Sun.
Sung Yul is leaving his meeting with Soo Hyang and Ho Jin when they run into Yang Sun waiting there. Soo Hyang is about to shoo her away when Sung Yul orders them to go do the tasks he just gave them. After they leave, a drunk customer mistakes Yang Sun for a gisaeng and tries to molest her. Sung Yul interjects and pushes the man off Yang Sun.
Sung Yul grabs Yang Sun’s arm and orders her not to say a word. Yang Sun’s dad arrives and sees Sung Yul dragging Yang Sun off.
Sung Yul stops when Yang Sun complains about her wrist hurting and lets her go. He finally notices the cuts on her face and asks angrily how she got hurt. Yang Sun explains she fell yesterday but it’s no big deal. Yang Sun reveals she knows why he’s sending her to Jeju and tries to tell him how her heart feels. Sung Yul orders her to go home because he doesn’t have the time to deal with her heart.
Yang Sun asks if he’s sending her to Jeju really was because he was afraid she would spill the beans about him if she was captured? Yang Sun asks to know how Sung Yul really feels about her.
Thoughts of Mine:
It’s way too early for Sung Yul to spill his guts to Yang Sun, and frankly I’m not certain he’s at the “I love you” stage yet anyways. At most he could tell her about his attraction and interest in her, but that’s nowhere close to her complete and utter devotion to him at this point. You can say she fell hard and fast, but one lead in a drama needs to get the ball rolling. I applaud all of Yang Sun’s actions in this episode, some were risky like heading back out to give medicine to Sung Yul, but she took the necessarily precautions and it was vastly important for the story to give Yang Sun much needed agency. She can’t wait for Sung Yul to drop into her life, if she cares about him then she needs to act on it before she’s sent away to Jeju and it’s too late to ask him the critical questions. I like that little sister Tan needed to be the one to open Yang Sun’s eyes to her feelings for Sung Yul, living like a man her entire adult life can’t have given Yang Sun the needed understanding that her concern for Sung Yul goes way beyond gratitude and admiration. Even better is her persistence in probing for the inconsistencies in Sung Yul’s actions versus his orders, if the man is being confusing then call him on it, vampire or no.
It’s easier to get on the OTP ship now that Hye Ryung is shown not to be Myung Hee and also a raging cold bitch. I do not like Hye Ryung at all, and that’s not the fault of Kim So Eun. Hye Ryung is such an unlikeable character, the exact opposite to Myung Hee’s sweet charm. I do feel a wee bit sorry for her, having an asshat evil dad who sends her to serve a maniacal monster like Gwi, but that doesn’t explain her terrible personality. She tells Gwi that she worried about him not coming back? If she likes him then I’m so done with her, and if she just wants him alive so that he can give her what she wants, then I’m still so done with her. The fact that she’s luring Sung Yul like a lamb to slaughter ups the distaste I feel for her, because she knows nothing about Sung Yul yet is perfectly fine using him to achieve her own means. I hope Yoon doesn’t get saddled with her as a wife down the road, especially since Yoon and Yang Sun are seriously too adorable for words. I may be slowly getting on the OTP ship but that doesn’t negate how much I enjoy watching Yang Sun banter with Yoon, their chemistry equally potent but just in different ways than Yang Sun’s intense slow simmer with Sung Yul.
It’s such a relief the drama doled out more information about the memoir, that there are five names in it including Sung Yul. I wished Yang Sun’s dad didn’t have it because I don’t like him for trying to burn the memoir for some misguided idea of keeping Yang Sun safe. He could have passed it on to another or continued hiding it, to attempt to destroy something so many people died to keep safe makes him an idiot of the first order. At least the one-armed bookseller is now willing to cooperate with Sung Yul, who has also taken the first steps to unload some of his burden on Yoon by moving to work with him on their plan of Gwi destruction. Sadly the current state of Gwi is one of repetitive boredom, there is only so much Lee Soo Hyuk can do in livening up Gwi when the character does the exact same things. Killing innocents in a show of power has lost it’s show value and the deaths are turning cartoonish because everyone who bites it is expendable, which might explain why Gwi still can’t get people to do what he wants, namely capture the Lecherous Scholar or find him the bookseller with the alluring blood, so he might as well change his tactics and give us something new to sink our teeth into. As of now, he might have fangs but he’s not impressing me with his strategy or threat level.
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