It’s the final episode of the 16-hour drama. Things finally wrap up and we find out how each of our characters cope after the intense and long journey the past few months. Will Lee Yool and Hong-shim have a happy ending with each other or will their complicated and conflicting past prevent the two star-crossed lovers from being together?
Note: I just want to quickly thank everyone who joined me in this recapping journey of ‘100 Days My Prince.’ It was enjoyable for the most part (despite the long long episodes) and I had fun recapping it! Through this drama, my love for D.O. has been reignited and I’m a little less wary about amnesia tropes in K-dramaland (just a little less). You can join me in my other recaps of ‘The Ghost Detective’ (which will be ending this week as well) as well as ‘Dae Jang-geum is Watching.’
100 Days My Prince: Episode 16 & Final Recap
Lord Kim and Lee Yool have a heated argument with each other. After informing Lee Yool about news of a war, he also updates Lee Yool about Hong-shim. Lord Kim has captured her. If Lee Yool dares to do anything to Lord Kim, Hong-shim will suffer and die in the process as well. Lord Kim refuses to give away her whereabouts to Lee Yool.
The war continues to escalate. The Jurchens – the people who were supposed to go up against the Ming – form an alliance with them and are now blackmailing the King. Unless the King delivers them a ransom, the Jurchens will murder one hostage every two hours. Court officials suggest meeting with the Jurchens to reach a compromise, but they’re uncertain as to who should be the representative. Though the King suggests Lord Kim, Lord Kim reasons that he might not have enough authority and recommends that the Crown Prince attend the meeting instead.
Stepdad panics when Hong-shim is no where to be found the next day. He reports the disappearance to Lee Yool who vows to find Hong-shim. However, he is called to return to the palace right away by Je-yoon and Kwon Hyuk. Je-yoon will search for Hong-shim in the meantime.
Lee Yool meets with the King to announce his next moves. He’ll go to the battlefield himself in order to alleviate matters. The King is wary of Lord Kim and refuses to permit Lee Yool to participate in the war, but Lee Yool has no other choice. He needs to end things with Lord Kim by falling into the trap that Lord Kim has set up just for him. That’s the only way Lee Yool will be able to take Lord Kim down. GAAAAAAAAAH.
And so we return to the very first scene that we witnessed in episode one (OMFGGG IT’S HAPPENING. THIS IS IT EVERYONE!). Lee Yool prepares to head to the village where Hong-shim is held in order to rescue her. Along the way, he encounters a frantic Je-yoon who attempts to stop Lee Yool from going. However, Lee Yool refuses to listen to Je-yoon and heads to the attacked village alone.
Upon arriving, Lee Yool finds corpses laying everywhere on the ground. He falls into Lord Kim’s trap as soldiers attack him just seconds upon his arrival. Thankfully, Lee Yool isn’t alone as Je-yoon accompanies him and aids him in fighting the enemies. Meanwhile, any plans of killing Lee Yool are to be executed by Lord Kim himself. He orders the Minister of War to take care of matters involving the Ming people while he’ll take care of Lee Yool.
Lee Yool meets with his team to discuss about their next moves. Lord Kim is currently located in the Ming’s military camp and awaits Lee Yool’s arrival for negotiation the next day. There are 300 individuals held hostage and Lee Yool must arrive at the meeting by noon alone in order to save all of them. However, Je-yoon isn’t convinced that Lord Kim has hostages held in captivity. There’s no evidence and it could just be a trap to kill Lee Yool. At that exact moment, an assassin shoots an arrow near the two men and gives Lee Yool an anonymous tip. As expected, Lord Kim is at the Ming military camp waiting for Lee Yool.
The next day, Lee Yool arrives at the camp with his team. He enters the fortress first alone and finds a dead woman who looks like Hong-shim laying on the ground. Thankfully, it’s not her and Lee Yool returns to looking around the village. He then is approached by Lord Kim and his assassins. However, Lee Yool is different this time and he calls his team to back him up as well (YAAAAS). Some of Lord Kim’s assassins are shot and killed and Lee Yool announces for the arrest of Lord Kim for attempted murder. However, Lord Kim doesn’t go down without a fight and he fights Lee Yool in a one-on-one battle.
The battle is intense but brief and Lee Yool cuts Lord Kim’s arm. He encourages Lord Kim to stop and orders for his men to arrest Lord Kim. However, panic ensues when Lord Kim is seen sticking his hand inside of his outfit to grab something so Kwon Hyuk orders his men to shoot their arrows at Lord Kim. Before falling to the ground, Lord Kim sticks a letter inside of Lee Yool’s hand and mutters that he never intended to live the miserable life that Lee Yool wanted him to (omg I’m having a mental breakdown LOL).
Standing not too far away is assassin Hyuk and Hong-shim. They watch as Lord Kim falls to the ground and dies. We learn that Hyuk and Hong-shim planned the attack against Lord Kim as a way to seek revenge for Moo-yeon. Lee Yool calls for his team to search for Hong-shim. She should be somewhere in the camp since she’s been helping Lee Yool fight against Lord Kim all along.
Lee Yool himself wanders around the camp in search of Hong-shim. He successfully finds her consoling and comforting a confused and sad young girl. Hong-shim gives her words of encouragement and encourages her to head to the magistrate’s office until her father returns. When the little girl leaves, Hong-shim reunites with Lee Yool and the two exchange some bitter words with each other.
To thank Hong-shim for her assistance and support in killing Lord Kim, Lee Yool will reinstate Hong-shim to her former status back when she was Yoon Yi-seo. However, Hong-shim rejects his offer and wishes to stay as Hong-shim. She recalls the moment she learned from Moo-yeon that he was in love with the Crown Princess and how he wished to take care of her and the baby. Hong-shim asks for Lee Yool to forget about her and their past; she, her brother, and Lee Yool all have complicated history with one another.
There’s something else Lee Yool wants to hear from Hong-shim. Doesn’t she love him? Doesn’t she want to be with him? However, Hong-shim denies the accusations and she can’t bring herself to say these words to Lee Yool as he desires T____T
The King receives updates about Lee Yool and Lord Kim. He sighs in relief when he learns that his son is alive and safe, but grows flustered upon reading a letter that was written by Lord Kim prior to his death. Lord Kim finally puts into use the royal seal that the King had granted him a few months back. Lord Kim writes that only he is to pay for his sins and his children are to not be punished for his actions. The King sits in disbelief upon reading the letter. He refuses to carry out Lord Kim’s promise considering he’s dead.
The Crown Princess sits in her room and struggles to accept her situation. She is then visited by Prince Seo-won who delivers news to her about her deceased father. He helps her escape from her chambers, but they’re confronted by the King along the way. The King is aware of the Crown Princess’s actions and scolds her for attempting to leave the palace. Meanwhile, the war Lord Kim started continues. Lee Yool himself participates in the battle and takes down opponents along with the many other soldiers fighting in the war.
1 year later
Goo-dol recounts the details and stories of what happened during the war to villagers. After the war, Lee Yool managed to save the rest of the hostages accordingly. However, upon returning to the palace he discovered that the Crown Princess had committed suicide. A year later, Goo-dol is now a watchman for Soo-ji who is kept on lockdown in Goo-dol’s house. Ma Chil is now a merchant and has travel plans to Ming.
So what about Hong-shim? What happened to her after the war? We learn that she’s returned to Songjoo Village and has resumed her Solution Agency that she opened when Won-deuk used to live with her. Being the brilliant and quick-witted girl she is, Hong-shim helps catch a serial rapist and is commended by Government Official Park who is now the village’s magistrate.
When Hong-shim returns to the house, she’s reminded of her memories with Won-deuk. That house has moments packed with interactions between her and Won-deuk. Hong-shim is interrupted by Stepdad who questions why she’s still living at home with him. She’s been reinstated as a noble woman, she should live her life as one. However, Hong-shim comments that she doesn’t want to for two reasons: 1) she doesn’t want to leave Stepdad behind but more importantly 2) because of Won-deuk.
Oh how the tables have turn. Lord Park is now a mere villager working under Magistrate Park. Magistrate Park orders Lord Park to run some errands for him. HAHAHAH, I’M LOVING THIS.
Lee Yool holds a meeting with his council. After discussing about issues concerning citizens, some of the officials ask Lee Yool about his marriage status. They suggest he get married since there’s been rumors spreading around about Lee Yool. However, Lee Yool shows no interest in getting married and is content with being alone, especially since he has Je-yoon to accompany him.
It’s time for Lee Yool to receive a new robe. However, even that is another strategy employed by the King to get Lee Yool to marry. The maid measuring Lee Yool attempts to flirt with him, but Lee Yool isn’t having any of it. LOL. He confronts his dad about the maid, but the King doesn’t find any fault in sending the maid to his son. Lee Yool explains that he has a woman he’s in love with but who he’s just waiting for. The King grows upset that someone has dared to reject his son, but Lee Yool doesn’t mind the rejection. He’ll wait for this woman as long as he has to.
Je-yoon conveys to the King his plans in getting Lee Yool to marry. Just like the Crown Prince did because of the drought, the King orders that everyone must get married. He’ll be moving away to Mount Myohyang for a few months where he will recuperate and recover from his “illness.” Until then, Lee Yool will rule as King and get married before the King returns.
The Queen continues to devise new plots to overthrow Lee Yool. However, it’s quite obvious that nothing she do will work. The King pays an unexpected visit to the Queen’s chambers and invites her to accompany him on his trip to the mountains. He not only wants her to stop attacking Lee Yool but he also wants to spend more time with her.
Lee Yool recalls the conversation he had with his dad about his dad’s departure trip. The King has had enough of the position as the nation’s ruler. He realizes that his concern about other people’s perception of him was what primarily influenced his decisions and actions. However, Lee Yool is different and he would make for a much better and stronger king. He is more fit for the position than Dad will ever be which is why Dad is handing the position down to Lee Yool so early.
Lee Yool learns through his eunuch that Je-yoon will be taking a few days off of work in order to follow the King’s orders of getting married. Je-yoon plans on marrying a woman in Songjoo Village which worries Lee Yool. He rushes to Songjoo Village himself in an attempt to get to Hong-shim before Je-yoon does.
Prince Seo-won embarks on a trip to visit the Crown Princess who now lives in an isolated house in the woods. She has given birth to a healthy baby boy called Seok-ha, named after Moo-yeon’s biological name. Meanwhile, Lee Yool rushes to Sungjoo Village to stop Je-yoon from proposing to Hong-shim. However, Je-yoon gets to her first and suggests that they get married since the King has ordered every person who’s single to get married.
So Je-yoon and Hong-shim – along with two other couples – head to the Magistrate’s office to play a game of couple’s match-up. However, the group is interrupted by Lee Yool who arrives to join the couples. He also wants to participate in the game. With Lee Yool now as a participant, there’s 4 men and only 3 women. Magistrate Park instructs that each woman can stand in front of the man whom they wish to marry. Hong-shim stands right in front of Je-yoon which disappoints Lee Yool. He offers to give her a second chance, but it’s obvious her final decision was Je-yoon.
After the game, Je-yoon and Hong-shim take a walk throughout the village. He admits that he fell in love with her at first sight and that she helped brighten his life up a little bit. There’s a lot that Je-yoon wants to thank Hong-shim for. Of course, Lee Yool has been following the couple from behind and he witnesses Je-yoon interacting with Hong-shim. Jealous, he confronts the couple and has a talk with Je-yoon. Je-yoon gives Lee Yool one last chance to impress Hong-shim or else he’ll really confess to Hong-shim the next time.
Hong-shim visits her dad’s grave and places a rock on his burial site. She’s then accompanied by Lee Yool who joins her. He wants Hong-shim to return to him, but Hong-shim still hasn’t forgotten her past. She and her brother were a threat to Lee Yool’s life. If they were to be together, people would use their relationship to attack Lee Yool. Though Lee Yool is willing to give up his position of power in order to be with Hong-shim, Hong-shim suggests he maintain his position as the King. Lee Yool gives in to Hong-shim’s wishes, but he has a request for her. As part of her Solution Agency, he wants her to help find him some books that he’s lost in the village. Upon finding the books, Lee Yool will pay her a good sum of money.
So Hong-shim sets out on the special assignment. She finally finds the stacks of books wrapped in a red silky cloth on the ground and opens it upon discovering it. Hong-shim flips through the pages in curiosity. Meanwhile, Stepdad, Goo-dol, and Magistrate Park all discuss their plans in helping Lee Yool propose to Hong-shim. Sitting not too far away is Lord Park who is ordered to work on plucking cherry blossom petals.
Hong-shim is unable to put the journals down upon reading them. The journals were all written by Lee Yool over the last year that they were separated. On every page are words of sadness and yearning for Hong-shim. Lee Yool is grateful to have been Hong-shim’s husband for the 100 days that he was with her in the village and is confident that being with her was a miracle in his life.
After reading the journals, Hong-shim frantically searches for Lee Yool. However, she learns from Goo-dol that he’s returned to the palace for urgent business. She heads back to her house alone and disappointed. Seconds later, she finds a figure standing right in front of her and it is none other than Lee Yool!
At that moment, Stepdad, Magistrate Park, Goo-dol, and Kkeut-nyeo all begin to sprinkle cherry blossom petals from the roof and down onto Hong-shim and Lee Yool. Though Hong-shim is confused as to where the petals are coming from, Lee Yool manages to distract her with his confession. He’s well aware of what he’ll be writing down in his journal for that night: details about his proposal to Hong-shim.
As his form of proposal, Lee Yool leans in to give Hong-shim a kiss on the lips. Just like how he promised her when they were little kids, Lee Yool returned for Hong-shim to marry her. What was just a small and childish comment about marriage and promises has come true after all. Lee Yool marries Hong-shim like how he promised.
LOLOLOL, that last scene has to be one of my top 5 favorite scenes throughout the entire drama. The whole setting with the falling cherry blossom petals was so romantic and beautiful and it made for the perfect proposal. However, it was so humorous watching Stepdad, Magistrate Park, Goo-dol, and Kkeut-nyeo being the ones behind the set-up and I loved watching them support Lee Yool as he attempted to win Hong-shim over one last time.
Now if I could also have my own group of team members to support me with my wedding as well. Just kidding, lol.
Moving on to the final episode itself, I have mixed and conflicting feelings about the finale. I’m going to try my best to not be a Negative Nancy here, but I’ll probably be in the minority and admit that I wasn’t as satisfied with the ending. My biggest issue with the final episode was just with the way that Lord Kim died. His death felt so anti-climatic. SO SO anti-climatic and easy. He didn’t even die in the hands of Lee Yool or Hong-shim. He didn’t die the way that he should have or was supposed to die. I think that’s what makes me the most angry and that’s why I wrote in the recap that I was suffering from a mental breakdown when he died.
You set Lord Kim up to be this huge villain in the drama who was a major character alongside Lee Yool and Hong-shim. The drama even focused a little bit more on him in the last half of the drama so he played a huge part especially towards the ending. We spent so much time concentrating on him and his plans of overthrowing the King and Lee Yool, we saw him attempt to kill Lee Yool, we saw him manipulate the King and the Queen, we witnessed him form alliances with the Queen’s advisors and the Ming envoy. We focused so much on Lord Kim as the intelligent, thorough, and manipulative antagonist. Then when it came down to the final moment where he was supposed to die, he didn’t even die like how he was supposed to. I was expecting something big to happen to him, but I couldn’t help but be disappointed with how he died in this episode.
Hong-shim or Lee Yool (or both) were supposed to kill him with their own hands. They were supposed to get revenge for Moo-yeon or for Lee Yool’s mom, but they didn’t even get the chance to kill him. It just screams ridiculous to me because he killed so many people innocent lives in the process and he committed so many evil wrongdoings. I guess there was satisfaction in seeing Lord Kim die in front of their eyes, but it just felt so cheap. It was a simple cop-out and I wanted more. Lord Kim caused so many people to suffer and to die, but he merely got a pass with his death. He wasn’t punished for his actions; he just merely died from some arrows. It felt so unfair and I think there should have been more to his death compared to all that the drama showed us of him the past 15 hours.
I also felt like if the drama was going to separate Hong-shim and Lee Yool post-war, a little bit more context would have been nice. The drama was hinting that Hong-shim felt guilt for her brother’s doings and concern for Lee Yool’s safety as the Crown Prince which is why she didn’t accept him after everything ended. However, you kind of had to infer this yourself while you were watching this episode and I didn’t like that. I know that Hong-shim took a huge blow when she learned that Moo-yeon was assigned to kill Lee Yool and was in love with the Crown Princess. However, it felt strange to see her distance herself from Lee Yool. I totally understand her reasons for doing so, but I felt like the separation was unnecessary or dragged out a lot longer than it needed to be. I kind of wanted to see them make up a lot earlier in the episode so that we could get a glimpse of Hong-shim’s life as the Crown Princess in the palace. I wanna see what happens to Lee Yool and Hong-shim when they get married and I want to witness another wedding between the two where it’s genuine and real.
I don’t know. It’s not like the drama needed another episode, but I think the pacing of the last 3 episodes could have been better so that everything was better wrapped up in the end. Upon returning to the palace, Lee Yool took a little too much time in just sitting back instead of putting forth effort in retrieving his memories. I wished the drama could have made him act a little bit faster so that the last few episodes were better paced. I’m also not so sure how I feel about the whole war sub-plot as well because I don’t think it was necessary. I know it was a device set up by Lord Kim to kill Lee Yool, but it just seemed so over-the-top. Lord Kim could have just invaded Lee Yool’s chambers himself with his team of assassins while holding Hong-shim hostage and you probably would have achieved the same end results. That war was not necessary in my opinion. I would even say that it was a little spontaneous and random because everything had been primarily low-scale until the war which occurred on a much bigger and heavier scale. I guess you can argue that the war was the final straw between Lord Kim and Lee Yool so the drama wanted to go out with a bang, but 1) the drama barely showed us anything from the war and 2) the drama gave us nothing with Lord Kim’s death. The war was a little futile to me although I can understand why the drama incorporated it.
Despite all my issues and hesitation with the final episode, ‘100 Days My Prince’ remained a fun and entertaining watch for the most part. The drama became a bit less interesting once it became more politically heavy, but I appreciated that the politics wasn’t so complicated and challenging to understand. Lord Kim wanted to kill the Crown Prince and to overthrow the King and his family so that he and his daughter could take over the palace. This drama was one of those dramas where the palace politics remained simple to understand for the most part and I think that’s one of the biggest things I appreciated about the drama.
I also liked that the drama eventually came around and connected everything back together. Instead of just throwing us into all the chaos and suspense, the drama started from the very beginning and showed us how each of our characters’s decisions and actions was what lead them to the beginning scene that we saw in episode one. It’s an aspect of storytelling that we’ve seen plenty of times in K-dramaland through flashbacks, time traveling, and whatnot, but ‘100 Days My Prince’ executed its storytelling in a nice and logical way. What we saw in the very beginning of episode one was also what we saw in the very last episode and the aftermath of it all. I liked that and I thought it was a refreshing take from a drama that could have just simply told things in a straight-forward manner but chose not to.
Lee Yool was such an interesting character I kind of wished we spent more time on him and his backstory. I know the primary premise centered around his identity as Won-deuk so we weren’t going to get a lot of time with Lee Yool, but I wanted to know more about his childhood and his upbringing as the Crown Prince. The story with his mother was also just as intriguing and interesting so that would have been nice to watch. That’s not to say that I wasn’t satisfied with the 100 days that Lee Yool was Won-deuk because I was. The moments in the drama where it focused on Won-deuk’s new lifestyle with Hong-shim, Stepdad, and the villagers was so fun to watch because it provided us with comedic highlights and whatnot. I loved the interactions and the relationships between our villagers and all the ridiculous antics that occurred. It was funny watching Won-deuk adjust to his new lifestyle and to watch him and Hong-shim fall in love with each other. Their relationship development was one of the greater things to come out of the drama and though this development slowed down towards the end of the drama, it was overall an amazing sub-plot. I think the relationship development between the two was an aspect that the drama rightfully established and executed. I was so satisfied with how our two lovebirds eventually fell in love with each other despite having started out with a fake marriage.
The heart of this drama were undeniably our characters and there were so many characters who made this drama. Of course, we can’t forget about our villagers Stepdad, Goo-dol, Kkeut-nyeo, and Government Official Park who were all so entertaining and kind in their own subtle ways. They helped Won-deuk settle into his new life as a villager and came to appreciating their friendships with Won-deuk and Hong-shim until the very end. Je-yoon was also another character who stood out in this drama for many reasons. In a way, I felt like he was so underestimated. He did so much, but a lot of his work was more behind the scenes so he didn’t get as much credit. Je-yoon was also smart, creative, and quick on his feet and had to balance both his position as Governor and Lee Yool’s right-hand man. His job wasn’t easy and he was essentially putting himself in danger by pretending to work with Lord Kim. Je-yoon did some hard hard work and should be commended for all his efforts. It’s a shame he didn’t end up with the woman he loved from the very start, but there’s plenty of other fishes out there in the sea who would be willing to be with him.
The ending to ‘100 Days My Prince’ was not my favorite, but I don’t want to judge the drama based on its ending because the drama was so much more than how it ended. The drama was an overall satisfying, intense, sometimes fearful, very anxiety-inducing, and comedic watch, and it had everything you ever wanted in a drama. There are so many great things about this drama and I’m especially going to miss watching Won-deuk with Hong-shim and the villagers. Out of the entire drama, the 100 days when Won-deuk was Hong-shim’s husband had to be my absolute favorite and I enjoyed witnessing how everything all unfolded. Maybe there were a few things about this drama that I might have questioned or felt puzzled about or might not have agreed with, but there were many more things about it that left me smiling, laughing, and nodding my head in agreement.
Won-deuk might have been an identity that our Crown Prince Lee Yool acted as for 100 days, but it lead him to many memories, lasting relationships, and his true love. There’s comfort and peace in knowing that Lee Yool and Won-deuk are interchangeable characters and that the days of marriage between him and Hong-shim will surpass 100 days. Undoubtedly, their love for each other will last beyond infinity.
Bonus: Extra screenshots from this episode :). Also, congrats to the cast and staff for achieving an overwhelming, well-deserved, and impressive 14% ratings! One of the best ratings from a drama airing on a cable channel 😀