I have high hopes for this one. Everything looks pretty, the premise seems interesting, and the cast members are promising.
‘100 Days My Prince’ stars D.O. from EXO (It’s Okay, It’s Love) who plays Lee Yool, the infamous Crown Prince who disappears after falling off a cliff because of an attempted assassination. For 100 days, he wanders around with a new name and personality and meets Hong-sim played by Nam Ji-hyun (Suspicious Partner) who runs a detective agency.
Note: This is my first official time recapping a historical drama so please excuse any mistakes I make when labeling and naming characters in this drama! Sometimes it can get confusing when talking about things related to the palace. Lol.
100 Days My Prince: Episode 1 Recap
The first episode starts off with Crown Prince Lee Yool (D.O./Do Kyung Soo) standing outside in the palace observing the rainfall. He travels on his horse afterwards with a group of soldiers and is stopped by Jung Je-yoon (Kim Sun-ho) who warns him not to go any further. If he dares to fight in the war, he will die for sure. However, Lee Yool is stubborn and fearless and he treads on with his team.
The drama then takes us back to when Lee Yool was a young child. With a group of kids in the village, he and his friend Dong-joo all engage in a game of roleplaying as warriors. Lee Yool is interrupted by a young Yoon Yi-seo (who Nam Ji-hyun plays later on as the adult role in the drama) who reprimands Lee Yool for hurting the kids. She gets him to stop and saves the little boy who Lee Yool was hurting in the game. Lol.
Royal court member/Lord Kim Cha-eon (Cho Seong-ha) presents a piece of stone to the King’s younger brother. He attempts to persuade the younger brother to overthrow his older brother so that he could obtain the position as King.
Lee Yool is encouraged by his mother to study. Although he cares more about protecting the people than about studying, he should still learn the basics of the alphabet. On his way to his room, Lee Yool bumps into Lord Kim. Mom doesn’t seem too comfortable with Lord Kim’s presence.
Lee Yool is occupied with finding ways to get revenge on Yi-seo after the humiliation he received from her earlier that day. He and Dong-joon decide to lie to Yi-seo and purposely lead her to an isolated house far from the village. There, they meet a tall, huge, and powerful man. The two little boys run away to escape while Yi-seo is left behind. However, contrary to what they assumed, the man isn’t scary or threatening at all. Lee Yool finds Yi-seo eating with the man at his house later on that night when he returns to save her.
On the walk back to the village, Lee Yool and Yi-seo have adorable conversations with each other and poke fun at each other for minor things. They become closer to each other that night. Lee Yool falls for Yi-seo’s honest, fun, and cute personality and suddenly confesses to her. He likes her and he’s going to marry her. Before Yi-seo can respond, shouts of her name from her father and a group of people echo throughout the forest. The two lovebirds bid farewell with each other. Omg, they’re way too cute!
Lee Yool is a changed boy upon returning back home. He’s now even studying all thanks to Yi-seo! With his mom gone for a few days, Lee Yool occupies his time by studying. He takes a break by walking outside although he was warned by his dad not to. He makes his escape to Yi-seo’s house and hides with her until chaos ensues. A group of bandits break into Yi-seo’s house and almost murders her. Her dad arrives just in time to protect her and demands that she and her brother run away. Dad is unable to fight off the bandits and is unfortunately killed by Lord Kim who was the person behind the attack.
Lee Yool finally shows himself to Lord Kim in an effort to stop them from killing any more people. However, the effort is futile and he is carried back to the palace where he reunites with his dad. Lee Yool attempts to bring to his dad’s attention about Lord Kim’s doings, but his dad remains indifferent to the news. Dad was the mastermind behind the killings.
With the King dead, Lee Yool’s Dad is now crowned King and Lee Yool himself is the Crown Prince. Lee Yool refuses to wear the gown until his mother returns home, but she’s no where to be seen. Young Lee Yool discovers in a conversation between Lord Kim and his dad that Mom has died. Lee Yool is swept in emotions of pain, misery, and tears. He’s unable to accept the fact that his mother is no longer alive. Meanwhile, Lord Kim has plans of his own. He wants to become Lee Yool’s father-in-law.
Fast forward 16 years later and the once small, young, and naive Lee Yool has transformed into a cold, aloof, and blunt young adult. He reprimands one of the newer court ladies in the palace for failing to follow with the group after a walk out around the palace. He also reprimands one of his advisers Kim Soo-ji (Heo Jung-min) for fooling around and not taking their meeting seriously.
Lee Yool is scheduled to spend the night with the crown princess, but Lee Yool isn’t willing to. He disappears once again and instead hides in the library where he encounters his dad. He argues with his dad about the drought the country is currently in and about whose fault it is for the country’s poor situation. Lee Yool never wanted to become the crown prince nor did he ever want his dad to become king. He’s not going to do anything that his father tells him to do. Now that they’re in the royal palace, Lee Yool hates everyone including the crown princess Kim So-hye (Han So-hee). Lee Yool storms out of the library in anger.
When Lee Yool returns to his room, he starts to suffer from some chest pain. However, he doesn’t pay much attention to it and calls for a meeting with his officials. There, he expresses his disappointment with their idea that his marriage with the crown princess will fix the country from the drought. If marriage is so important, then everyone in the country shall get married within the next month. He leaves the meeting satisfied with his speech, but suddenly faints shortly afterwards.
A young lady named Hong-sim (Nam Ji-hyun) is up in the mountains with her friend searching for some herbal medicines and plants. When confronted by two villagers, she manages to scare them away and advocate for her and her friend. Lol, I love her already! She returns to the village and finds herself suddenly trapped in a random couple pairing match. The Crown Prince has ordered everyone over twenty still single to get married. This way, the drought will end and the country will be better off. Though Hong-sim doesn’t understand the reasoning behind this nor supports it, there’s not much she can do. Everyone else seems to be going along with it. Her best friend is getting married to a random person she doesn’t even know or like and she’s up next.
In an attempt to escape an arranged marriage, Hong-sim lies to government official Park Bok-eun (Lee Joo-hyuk) that she already has someone she’s engaged to named Won-deuk. He’s currently serving in the military so she’s unable to get married for now. Official Park doesn’t buy her story and urges her to get married as soon as possible or else she’ll have to deal with the Crown Prince herself.
Crown Princess So-hye visits a sick and unconscious Lee Yool in his room. She hopes he’ll wake up as her life heavily depends on him. Meanwhile, the King and his royal court officials have a discussion about Lee Yool. He’s been unconscious for ten days, but doesn’t have an heir to inherit his position. This concerns some of the officials, but Lord Kim and the King aren’t worried. Lee Yool will recover just fine. They just have to wait and be patient.
The Queen (Oh Yeon-Ah) has devised a plan of her own to kill Lee Yool so that her son can become the heir to the throne next. She attempts to poison Lee Yool’s medicine, but thankfully is unsuccessful in her attempt. Lee Yool and his guard Dong-joo (Do Ji-han) come up with their own plans to discover who exactly it was that tried to poison and kill Lee Yool. They’re finally going to play a game of detectives like how they wanted to when they were younger.
Advisor Kim is unable to solve the riddle that Lee Yool had assigned him. He and the remaining advisers remain stuck in the same location they had their meeting with Lee Yool since he’s unable to solve the problem. Advisor Jung Je-yoon (Kim Sun-ho) joins Advisor Kim and learns about the promotion that Lee Yool will give to whoever solves the riddle. Advisor Jung is up for the challenge.
Hong-sim sets out on a journey in an attempt to find her older brother. Though she’s warned by a villager to not go, she resumes with her plans.
Lee Yool and Dong-joo also set out on their own journey to find who it was behind the attempted assassination of Lee Yool. They eventually encounter the former palace maid who had put the poison in Lee Yool’s medicine. She claims that she was given the orders by someone in the palace to do so, but before she could reveal to Lee Yool who it was, she gets shot by an arrow in the throat.
Dong-joo runs after the assassin in an attempt to capture him, but quickly loses sight of him. The assassin is then approached by Lee Yool and the two engage in an intense fight with each other in the forest. Thankfully, Lee Yool nearly escapes death when Dong-joo arrives in time to save him. The two run into the village marketplace to continue the search for the assassin, but it’s of no use. Though Lee Yool walks past a man who he is suspicious about, he and Dong-joo conclude their search efforts.
Hong-shim arrives in the former village where she and her family grew up. The house they used to live in is vacant and abandoned. She then heads afterwards to meet with a merchant selling textbooks who permits her to enter his library. There, she changes into a traditional hanbok.
Lee Yool and Dong-joo also happen to come across the bookseller and give him weird stares upon hearing him promote his books, lol. At that moment, Hong-shim exits from the library with her face hidden as best as possible. As she makes her way to her destination, she stops to admire the cherry blossom trees which reminds her of Lee Yool. Lee Yool himself follows Hong-shim and finds her admiring the cherry blossoms. He’s reminded of a young Yi-seo who also reacted similarly when he was younger.
Hong-shim panics when she finds Lee Yool staring at her in admiration so she covers her face again and walks off. Lee Yool chases after her in an attempt to stop her.
AHHHHH, I know this is way too early to say and I shouldn’t get my hopes up so soon, but I think this is it! This drama is the one!
All jokes aside, this first episode was so pretty, so nice, and so pleasantly executed. I came into this drama having watched one of the teasers only once and not really knowing or expecting much from the drama. With this first episode, I am glad to say that it made a first good impression and that it was an overall enjoyable beginning.
Granted, as the first episode, it was going to be highly foundational and introductory. This episode introduced our characters to us, gave us some context and insight for future issues and concerns to come, and established the relationships that exists within and out of the palace. While I do think some of the context was a little rushed and more details would have been nice, I was overall satisfied with the pacing and all the background information. We understand why Lee Yool is so cold, reserved, and harsh. We understand the Queen’s plans to kill Lee Yool and the reasoning behind this assassination. We understand Hong-shim’s search for her older brother who she was separated from after having lost her dad. While there are many more questions at this point that we don’t have the answers for, I’m excited to gain the answers to these questions as the drama progresses.
We’re not really sure what happened in those 16 years that caused Yi-seo to take on a new identity. I’m assuming she changed her name and appearance in an effort to hide and protect herself from assassins who were probably after her and her brother. I’m also curious as to what exactly happened to Hong-shim’s brother and how they lost contact with each other. Thankfully, he’s still alive since Hong-shim went to search for him, but it’s unclear where he is or what his condition is. I hope Hong-shim will be able to find him and maybe she’ll be able to do that with the help of Lee Yool.
Lee Yool’s sudden and unexpected struggle in becoming a member of the Royal Family was so heart-breaking to watch. You can tell that there’s an immense amount of pressure to meet not only his dad but the country’s expectations and this was something that Lee Yool himself never wanted. He never asked to become a member of the royal family; he never wanted to tackle the position of the Prince. This could explain for the lack of effort in listening to his dad or in not meeting the expectations of those around him. He doesn’t want to be Prince and the future King as it was something that he never asked for. Now Lee Yool has to face all this pressure and he’s unsure if he wants to commit to that.
The ending to this episode hinted to the kind of relationship that Hong-shim and Lee Yool will have with each other and I have to say that I’m super excited for their interactions. A haughty, confident, and quirky Hong-shim talking and interacting with a stubborn, indifferent, and reserved Lee Yool should make for lots of fun, humor, and trouble. Since Lee Yool does eventually undergo a new name and personality, it’s uncertain as to how he’ll act in the future, but I’m anticipating his interactions with Hong-shim. They were so cute when they were younger I’m certain they’ll be as cute 16 years later.
I’ve been a firm believer that even if a certain drama isn’t as intriguing or fun plot wise, the cinematography and filming of a drama can really improve the drama and make up for its weaknesses. It’s too early to note which weaknesses this drama has, but I have definitely found its strength and it has to be the cinematography. This drama is so so beautiful and pretty to look at and it’s so easy on the eyes. I love the intense close-up shots, but I also love the far zoomed-out shots of the entire scene that gives you an idea as to what is going on. Some of the scenes in this first episode was so meticulous and detailed it felt like I was watching a movie. The filming also makes things easier for me as a recapper to screen shot and trust me, there were so many things I wanted to screenshot in this episode (primarily D.O.’s face but you get what I mean LOL). Episode one was a great start, but even if the drama pales later on in comparison to the first episode, I would like to think that the drama would still be saved thanks to the stunning cinematography.
The cast members are promising and I think D.O. and Nam Ji-hyun in particular were great in the portrayals of Lee Yool and Hong-shim respectively. They’re so suitable for their characters and I can already imagine just how much chemistry they will have with each other (the ending to this episode already got me imagining things! LOL). The chemistry was definitely there so I’m really excited to see them together onscreen in the future episodes. Also, I just feel like Nam Ji-hyun is the type of talented actress who generally just has great chemistry with her co-stars or attempts to create great chemistry with her male leads. I’m certain she’ll do that with this drama as well. As for the supporting cast members, I was so so shocked to see Kim Sun-ho in this drama as he’s an actor I grew fond of after watching him in ‘Strongest Deliveryman’ and ‘You Drive Me Crazy.’ I had no idea he was in this drama so I was so so happy to see him here (plus, he’s finally in a historical drama! Yaaaas!) and I’m really excited to see more of him in future episodes. I really like him!
I’m a little sad that our young Yi-seo and Lee Yool was only in the first episode for such a short amount of time as they were both so adorable and had really cute chemistry with each other. Plus, their acting was impressive and noteworthy I had to really pause and ask myself how old they were, lol. Regardless, episode one was off to a fun and interesting start. Just like how the child portion of this first episode impressed, I’m hoping the adult segment with D.O. and Nam Ji-hyun will be just as pleasant and decent. With how things shaped up in this first episode, it seems like we won’t be disappointed hopefully.