K-Drama Couch Recap: “Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung” Episode 3

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Reaching dreams is not easy as it seems for the four new recruits in Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung.

Embodying a unique woman in Joseon standard, rookie historian Goo Hae Ryung participated in the exam at the expense of her last ride to marriage, defying her brother.

MBC’s newest historical drama treat continues its second week to exciting colors. Park Ji Hyun’s official character introduction also completes the main cast lineup that will spin the narrative.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung Recaps

Ep 01, Ep 02

Special Note: Episode count follows Netflix’ format. Korean broadcast follows 4-episode run weekly.

The night before Hae Ryung’s wedding

Fortunately for Hae Ryung, his brother picked a noble man who respected Hae Ryung’s wish of not proceeding with the marriage. Upon hearing her ex-groom apologizing for cancelling the marriage, she rushes to where the female historian test is being conducted.

Meanwhile, Prince Yi Rim attempts to leave Neokseodang. However, Sambo is quick to provide him reasons why the prince should not leave the palace. At the testing site, the question was given to the ladies about prevention of solar eclipse. In Joseon period, solar eclipse is deemed to be a way of heaven in chastising Kings. However, no matter how many rituals have passed, problems in the Kingdom still arise.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

The new rookie historians

Moving on to the next level after the pre-screening conducted by historians, Hae Ryung is chosen alongside eights ladies.

But Hae Ryung’s audacity to back up her answer with scientific approach, which at that time doesn’t have concrete idea. Hence, the people think of it as an ominous event meant to punish the King. Because of that, Hae Ryung gets chided by Prince Jin. Correcting her idea with the wisdom of choosing her words carefully, Hae Ryung remains firm with her opinion that learning through a book on what the phenomenon is would solve the problem.

Countering her words, Prince Jin reasons the sad truth that not all people can afford to learn and realize things. Owing to their primary concern of surviving with their primary needs. He adds how the ritual is done to appease the people’s hearts.

Still, Hae Ryung succeeds along with three other ladies, one of which is Lady Song Sa Hee (Park Ji Hyun).

The best prince brother ever

Visiting his little brother after the exam, Prince Jin gives Prince Yi Rim an identity pass using their uncle’s name, further hinting that he can go out for a quick break since the King won’t be able to know it.

Before heading to the Royal Family’s villa with Sambo, they drop by at the bookstore to question the identity of fake Maehwa. Learning Hae Ryung’s name, the prince is greeted by a dog and leads him to a place where a tombstone of Ho Dam and Yeongan is.

At night, Prince Yi Rim has a creepy epiphany of him wearing the King’s robe with bloodied hands. Waking up to the nightmare, he goes to where he saw the tombstone and hears a whisper of “Ho Dam”.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

First Day Not So High For Female Historians

Elated on their first day, the four rookie historians greet the morning in lively spirits. Chancing upon senior historians, they follow their instructions to where the office is, only to find out that they were purposely lied to so they will arrive late.

To make their experience worse, the male historians treat them as errand girls ready to take their orders at their beck and call. Officer Min, who had a previous encounter with Hae Ryung, adds to the sexist approach by looking at Hae Ryung’s eyes and telling her how they are not yet historian.

Standing in a straight line with nothing important to do, the ladies are ordered to run around the building when one of them is caught yawning.

Devoid of physical strength, Hae Ryung chats with her servant and tells her how she appreciated all her efforts. Still refusing to consider marriage, she declares determination to become a full-fledged historian.

Hell hath no fury when female historians get scorned

Reaching the limit of their historian internship, the ladies propose a proper hazing ritual befitting of their status. At night, they meet at a gisaeng house. The lead historian declares the initiation ceremony with a liquor drinking situation. Sa Hee bravely obliges but can barely hold herself up after two bowls of alcohol.

Stepping up, Hae Ryung mentions appreciating the deep-rooted care of seniors to the newbie recruits like them. She challenges the lead historian for a last man standing over liquor duel. After a few jars and with most historians already knocked out and drunk, Hae Ryung emerges victorious.

Groping her way out, she falls onto her brother’s arms as he gives her a piggyback ride. The next morning, hangover hits Hae Ryung who wakes up late. Running late to her training schedule, she follows the advice of one of the guards.

Little does she know that she will end up at Neokseodang.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

Episode 3 Afterthoughts

It really takes time to appreciate the beauty of period dramas. That’s why I like the small tangibles present in Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung. The lively music, the cute and yes even the bordering slapstick humor add energy to its storytelling. More so, the visually appealing cinematography and neat camera movements layer enticement to its picture.

So far, the focus of the story being on Shin Se Kyung’s role means the actress will embark on defining moments of her character. Whereas, Cha Eun Woo’s role seems to traverse poignant story bends given his situation in the Royal Family and how his connection to Hae Ryung will progress.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

We had an overview of what to expect in the story. But we are yet to see what kind of side problems and main conflict the characters are yet to tackle. Park Ki Woong has been stealing glorious moments with his rendition as Prince Jin. Now that Park Ji Hyun entered the picture, whether she is on the good or bad side, we have yet to learn.

What will happen to the reunion of Prince Yi Rim and Hae Ryung? Tune in to its fourth episode tonight.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung airs on MBC every Wednesday and Thursdays.

Image Credit: MBC

Watch on: Netflix

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