So I am back with another recap for another Korean drama, this time for the new tvN drama ‘The Three Musketeers’ starring Jung Yong Hwa, Lee Jin Wook, Yang Dong Geun, and Jung Hae In. For those who aren’t familiar with the plot, the drama will follow Lee Jin Wook who plays Crown Prince Sohyeon who will be protected by his security guards and sidekicks none other than YDG, Jung Hae In, and Jung Yong Hwa who are all assigned to protect our Crown Prince from any danger. There are three seasons overall, with this season obviously being the first. I already voiced my opinion and thoughts on the drama so maybe you might want to read that before reading this recap for the things I might comment for this first episode recap might be similar to what I wrote in my other post. Regardless, I hope you guys will enjoy my recap. LET’S GO!
Episode one starts out in the year of 1780, the 4th year that King Jeongjo has been reigning and takes place in the capital of the then Qing Dynasty, Beijing. We are then introduced to a man named Park Ji Won who’s visiting Beijing as en envoy. While wandering in the library, he comes across a book called ‘The Memoirs of Park Dal Hyang’ that contains records of stories written by a man by that name. He asks the librarian about this so-called general Park Dal Hyang who was a high ranking general during King Sukjong’s reign and someone close to Crown Prince So Hyun, but the librarian remains confused. We then learn through the narrator narrating the drama that this book has been written close to one hundred years ago.
Park Ji Won takes the book home to study it and ponders over questions that comes to his mind once he finishes examining the book. He asks his colleague these questions, but his colleague just brushes it off, saying that Park Dal Hyang is just a fictional character and that the book Park Ji Won’s studying is just a fictional novel. But as Park Ji Won predicts, Park Dal Hyang was in fact a general in that era but used an alias due to the shocking contents of the story. Park Ji Won then decides that it’s best he shares Park Dal Hyang’s story as a general so he copies the book’s content onto his very own. And that is how our story of Park Dal Hyang begins.
It’s the year of 1636, the 14th year that King Injo has been reigning. We witness our hero and protagonist, 22 year old Park Dal Hyang (Jung Yong Hwa), practicing for his military service exam while on the top of a mountain cliff. He heads back home to bid his parents farewell who give him some pieces of advices and wise words before their son is to leave to Hanyang for the military service exam. While Dad hands his son a letter and advises Dal Hyang to find the Minister of Finance once he gets to Hanyang so that he will have a place to live and sleep in, Mom gives her son some money just in case it might come in handy. While Dal Hyang leaves for Hanyang on his horse, his parents argue over the animal and whether it’ll actually be able to make it all the way to Hanyang. Haha, I’m already liking his parents.
While traveling to Hanyang Dal Hyang comes across many problems like having to delay 10 days of his trip because he had to treat his old and sick horse or delaying another 20 days because of the horrible weather that won’t allow him to travel or having to delay his trip another few days because of a tiger that is swallowing people up. LOL. Poor Dal Hyang. He just wants to make it to his military service exam on time. Despite all the obstacles Dal Hyang had to face, he finally, finally arrives to Hanyang a day before the day of the military examinations safe and sound.
Dal Hyang heads to the Minister of Finance’s house like how his dad had instructed him to do, but it turns out that the Minister is on a business trip for 10 days so he won’t be back anytime soon. Not only that, because there are many others who are also taking the military service exam like Dal Hyang is, there are a shortage of rooms available for Dal Hyang. This results in him having to walk around the village asking other villagers where the nearest motel is located. While doing so, Dal Hyang gets most of his money and coins that his mother gave him snatched and stolen by thieves and other villagers (NOOO!). He manages to save a few coins for himself but is still disappointed over all of the poor money that he lost (and I am too).
Dal Hyang is able to get himself a room to sleep in for that night (YAY!), but the bad news is that he has to share it with two other people (awww man!). What’s even worse is when a group of bandits come barging into their room and beats one of his roommates close to death right in front of his eyes! When the bandits leave after finishing their assigned mission, Dal Hyang’s living roommate explains to him that the reason as to why people are getting beatened is because nobles are hiring people to beat up those who seem to have a good chance of passing the military service exam so that their sons can have a better chance at succeeding at the military examinations. Omg, people can be so cruel.
Dal Hyang chases after the bandits to seek some revenge, but finds himself a tad bit too slow so he stops three men who he meets along the way to ask to use one of their horses. At first the 3 men are reluctant and hesitant, but when Dal Hyang explains to them the dangerous situation that is arising, they all work together to take down the bandits (YAY for teamwork!). All 4 men are exceptional in beating up and giving the bandits a taste of what they had been doing to the other guys they had beat up. Soon the bandits are captured and arrested thanks to Dal Hyang and the three men.
Dal Hyang finds out that the three guys are the police before receiving encouraging comments and messages from them on his military examination. Before he lets them go, Dal Hyang requests to exchange names so he introduces himself to the three men. They in return introduce themselves as The Three Musketeers (Lee Jin Wook, Yang Dong Geun, Jung Hae In) instead of giving Dal Hyang their individual names. Lol. The narrator also points out that the first encounter between Dal Hyang and The Three Musketeers was like destiny.
While Min-seo (Jung Hae In) stays behind to tie his horse, he finds a letter that he figured Dal Hyang must have dropped on his horse back when they encountered one another. What he reads in that letter shocks him. Meanwhile, our Crown Prince Sohyeon (Lee Jin Wook) and Seung-po (Yang Dong Geun) enters a building for a secret meet-up with a man who updates Sohyeon on the war in China. While Crown Prince Sohyeon is engaged in the secret meeting, Min-seo shares the letter he found with Seung-po who is waiting outside of the meeting room. After he finishes reading it, he questions where Dal Hyang is living again so that they contact him about this letter.
Meanwhile, Dal Hyang is back at his motel washing and cleaning himself up when he notices that his letter is gone! After countless tries of trying to find it, he receives a note shot on an arrow informing him where to meet up if he wants to get his letter back.
It’s not long until Crown Prince Sohyeon reads the shocking letter. As he reads the letter, we hear a female voice speak in a voice-over, “You know I feel the same as you do. I promise I won’t get married to another guy. If you don’t come back I will die as an old lady or become a monk. I’ll wait until you come to Hanyang and pass the exam.” The young girl also refers to her father’s name in the letter so that the person this letter is for (which is Dal Hyang) can go to her house to visit her. It turns out that the lady who’s behind this letter is none other than Yoon Seo, Crown Prince Sohyeon’s wife. OOOOOOOOHHHH. This isn’t good. Dal Hyang’s got himself in some deep deep trouble.
Seung-po suggests investigating Dal Hyang since this letter sets up for a conspiracy. It only takes a few seconds of waiting until Dal Hyang shows up at their place to retrieve his letter. Seung-po leaves the two men to settle on this issue so they both talk it over.
Dal Hyang explains that Yoon Seo gave the letter to him five years ago when she came to his hometown for about 2 months. But ever since she left, they haven’t had any contact with each other whatsoever. Dal Hyang also reveals his plans to visit her after he passes the exam which is the reason as to why he kept her letter all this time. Crown Prince unfortunately breaks the news (and Dal Hyang’s heart) that Yoon Seo is already married, for three years to be exact. And it’s not just to any guy, she’s married to the Crown Prince which means she’s going to be Queen. Dal Hyang is absolutely heart-broken over the shocking news and cries knowing that his childhood crush is now married. He can’t help but recall childhood memories of them spending time together at the beach and talking about their future with each other. Instead of punishing Dal Hyang, Sohyeon feels as if it’s better to just console the emotional Dal Hyang and orders Seung-po to buy him some drinks. Lol. Aww, who knew our Crown Prince could be such a sweetheart?
The Crown Prince’s beautiful wife, Yoon Seo, is resting in her bedroom when she is notified that her husband has come to visit her. Once they both settle down, Sohyeon gets straight to the point and asks Yoon Seo about Dal Hyang. He also explains to her Dal Hyang’s situation in coming to Hanyang to prepare for his military examinations and how ever since he found out that Yoon Seo had gotten married he became discouraged and dejected. Crown Prince voices his concern for Dal Hyang who has the potential to become a great general. Yoon Seo’s jaw drops upon hearing Dal Hyang’s name and listens attentively to her husband talk about him. Yoon Seo defends herself by making up an excuse that makes no sense whatsoever to Sohyeon. He pulls out the letter that she had written to Dal Hyang which causes Yoon Seo to panic even more, but he doesn’t say much about it other than praise the loving and sweet letter. It’s rare to find such an extraordinary and sincere love story in Hanyang. Hahaha. Before Sohyeon leaves, he points out the difference between his wife Yoon Seo and the young Yoon Seo in the letter, curious as to where the bold young Yoon Seo in the letter went. You know, this is kind of sad, lol.
While Yoon Seo reminisces about the past in her bedroom, Dal Hyang faces reality while standing outside with his horse. He voices in disbelief the fact that Yoon Seo is married and is now living in the palace. He recalls the moment when The Three Musketeers encouraged him to take the exam and rank first place – that way they know that Dal Hyang doesn’t have any more lingering feels for Yoon Seo. Dal Hyang makes up excuses which causes Sohyeon to grow angry. He warns Dal Hyang that if he continues to make up excuses The Three Musketeers are going to have to report the conspiracy plan to the Crown Prince who won’t be so tolerating of this. LOL. I love how Sohyeon’s speaking about himself in the third person. Seung-po and Min Seo add on to the description of Crown Prince and states things like he’s violent and gets jealous very easily so Dal Hyang should watch out. LOL. Upon hearing violent, Sohyeon’s just like “Violent? He’s not that violent..”. HAHAHA. Seung-po expresses his sadness for Yoon Seo because she’s married to a man who is not only violent but sly as well. Lolol. This scene is hilarious! Before leaving, Sohyeon reminds Dal Hyang once again to rank first place at the military service exam if he wants everyone to be safe.
Dal Hyang reflects upon the words spoken by The Three Musketeers by talking to his horse and decides that he’ll take the exam and work his hardest to rank in first place. He might have came to take the exam to marry Yoon Seo at first, but since that’s not possible anymore, he’s now taking the exam to protect her happiness.
It’s the day of the military examinations and Dal Hyang finds all his hard work paying off. He’s able to easily and successfully past the first round to land himself a spot in the final round where he and the other contestants that have also passed will perform in front of the King himself. The exam eventually begins and it is decided that the men will have to successfully execute archery while on a horse since that was the activity that most men failed at. After a few other contestants, it is then time for Dal Hyang to prove himself.
Just as he’s about to begin, many start to cause a commotion when they find a surprise guest arrive at the exam location. It’s none other than our Crown Prince Sohyeon who has come to watch the men take on the military examinations! Dal Hyang, who’s settled on the horse at this point, grows so surprised and shocked when he learns that the man he had been talking to this whole time was actually the Crown Prince that he performs horribly. He accidentally aims his arrow at a horse and lets his arrow go, causing the horse to squeal wildly and run around in pain, knocking down everything in front of his way. There’s chaos and turmoil and everyone’s scrambling about trying to escape from the horse, protect the King, and calm the horse down.
Once Dal Hyang comes back to his senses, he finds himself staring at the Crown Prince who’s looking back at him in return. But it isn’t with a shocked and disappointed face expression like what Dal Hyang is wearing. Sohyeon breaks out into laughter upon gazing at Dal Hyang.
ROFL. I apologize for the long wait. It took me a while to post this recap because the episode was reallllyyy long and because I had a few other things to take care of but I was finally able to finish it and now it’s posted. Better late than never right?
I already gave away some of my opinions and thoughts on the first episode in this ‘What Mary Thinks’ post, but after re-watching the episode, I’m more irritated by it than I am fascinated and addicted. There were quite a few scenes that were unnecessarily long such as the conversation between Dal Hyang and Sohyeon about Yoon Seo or the conversation between Dal Hyang and his horse (who I might add reminds me a lot of the horse in ‘Gaksital’, haha) or especially towards the end right before Dal Hyang shoots at the horse with his arrow. He’s like staring at Sohyeon for the longest amount of time while still riding on the active and fast moving horse. Like, is that even possible in the first place? Lol. It just seems to drag on for so long or maybe it’s the actors that are to partially blame for this with their iffy acting. I don’t know, but while I was watching this episode, it just felt so slow. Lol.
On a brighter note, I do like how Dal Hyang encountered The Three Musketeers who are our other main characters in the drama. I think it was rather quite exciting and funny, with Dal Hyang unknowingly conversing and arguing with the Crown Prince. His reaction to finding out that Sohyeon was the Crown Prince was just hilarious. The way Dal Hyang stared at him as he was riding on the horse with the bow and arrow in his arm was a pretty funny sight to see because it was in slow motion and just went on for the longest time. I like you Dal Hyang, but you have something else you need to do which is to focus on your exam! Another thing I found interesting was the love triangle. It’s barely the first episode and we’re already introduced to a few relationships. As Yoon Seo is married, I really do hope that Dal Hyang doesn’t pursue after her because she is already married to the Crown Prince and it would be wrong of them both to see each other, but you know, this is a Korean drama where there are no boundaries or limits and where anything can happen. If the drama does stop the love story between Yoon Seo and Dal Hyang I wonder if Dal Hyang will have a love story with another girl later in the drama? I would love it if he came across another girl who was just as great at fighting and kicking butts as he is. They would make a great couple no doubt.
‘The Three Musketeers’ is told by a narrator and I’m not so sure if I’m in favor of this. Dramas rarely use this technique so this whole narration is very new to me which is why I might still feel awkward with it. But even though at times I might find it annoying, there are also times where I find it useful and necessary because this story of Park Dal Hyang happened way back in time and we are watching it all unfold. So since we’re going back in time, we need someone there to explain us what’s happening and going on. I feel conflicted about the narration, but I think within time I’ll get used to it.
As for our actors, I see heaps of improvement from Jung Yong Hwa who I might add could barely move his face in ‘You’re Beautiful.’ I still do find him struggling in some areas such as putting on shocked and surprised face expressions, but everything else he’s decent in. I don’t find myself cringing at him like how I used to so I’m glad to say that I can watch this drama without frowning. Lol. I actually like Dal Hyang because he’s just a very obedient, hard-working, talented, and honest guy who wants justice for everyone. He’s not bad or anything so it’s not like I hate him or anything, but he is a kind person at heart and it was evident in the first episode. I am confused about Crown Prince Sohyeon, especially with the ending where he was laughing (evilly) at Dal Hyang. I’m uncertain as to what that laugh is supposed to convey or communicate so his character is sort of mysterious and suspicious to me as of right now. But he’s on my good side for right now since he gave Dal Hyang a second chance to prove himself instead of punishing him.
I also wanted to point this out to you readers who are reading and going to continue reading my recaps for ‘The Three Musketeers.’ I’m not knowledgeable in the history of Korea so I might have trouble writing my recap and explaining to you guys the setting or the Kings or whatever things so I hope you guys will understand. If I wrote something wrong or provided some misleading information in my recap, please notify me and correct me (respectfully). I would like for my recaps to be as accurate as possible so please help a sister out okay? Haha. Thanks!
Overall, I can’t say I’m the most excited for the next episode of ‘The Three Musketeers’, but I’m not giving up on it just yet. Let’s keep it going The Four Musketeers.