K-Drama Couch Recap: “Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung” Episode 4

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Seniors of rookie historian Goo Hae Ryung fortunately prove they can rise up to prejudice established about them.

It is also gladdening that its fast moving enabling a swift groundwork for Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung to thread on its narrative.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

All Photos From MBC

Additionally, all main leads were officially introduced to move around the flow of the story.

Rookies Historian Goo Hae Ryung Recaps

Ep 01, Ep 02, Ep 03

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

Cha Eun Woo and Shin Se Kyung

Hae Ryung and Maehwa meet again

Unfortunately for Hae Ryung, winning the drinking session includes a tail problem. That is how she can enter the palace for her not to be scolded for being late. Thanks to a kind palace guard, she is given a secret route. It turns out that one of the senior historians ordered the guard to not let her pass.

However, she ends up at Nokseodong where Prince Yi Rim demands compensation to all damages she has done. Explaining she never received any letter for her to meet him, Sambo arrives to prevent his identity being revealed. He advises that getting revenge is not doable as a prince, but as writer Maehwa, it is possible.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

Inner court disputes with historians

Rushing to where her fellow female historians are, they tell her that they will cover the works since she helped them last night. Except Sahee, who made it clear not to get any help from her. Summoned by the Queen Dowager, Hae Ryung and fellow female historians are escorted to where the queen is. Giving insightful wisdom of their situation as workers at Office of Decrees, she empathizes on how hard it is for them to be in a male-dominated world.

Their happiness is short-lived though when they are dragged to where the head of Inner Court ladies are. As historians, Hae Ryung questions why they should abide the law of Inner Court. At the brink of punishing her with a smoldering hot rod, Officer Min arrives, and is infuriated for the treatment received by the newbie government officials.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

A new historian’s emotional outburst

Mumbling why Officer Min was left out, the lead historian faces them and castigates on following a stranger mindlessly. With that, one of the female historians ticks and rants how they have not given any basic knowledge for them to know what their rights and roles are as historians.

Officer Min asks the lead historian permission for him to teach the new recruits the next day against other historians will.

Prince Yi Rim starts cute revenge

Meanwhile, at a house in a forest where a few books are being produced, a band of assassins arrives to kill all the workers. Sacrificing his life, a man burns copies of “The Story of Ho Dam” books. Paying Goo Jae Gyung a visit, Minister Min orders him to accept a job post so he can be an eye to Queen Dowager’s movements.

Pretending to be a eunuch, Prince Yi Rim adorably makes Hae Ryung do household chores. Delighted at the sight of Hae Ryung having a hard time, Prince Yi Rim bosses her around. Dismissing her for the day, Prince Yi Rim tells her to come back until she has fully paid her dues.

But Hae Ryung will not let the day pass by without getting back all the troubles that day. Stopping on her tracks, she faces Prince Yi Rim and teases how she understands his sentiments as a romance novelist. Citing how he thrives on theories because he won’t be able to experience it in real life.

At night, a court lady visits Sambo and goes to open a box bearing the tombstone Prince Yi Rim saw in his recent vacation.

Officer Min trains the female historians

After learning the concept of hierarchy in their office, Officer Min brings the historian trainees inside the hall where the King and government officials discuss the problems in the country. Expressing distaste on the appearance of women in the court, Prince Jin makes his entrance silencing the complaining officers.

Back at Neokseodang, Prince Yi Rim beams when Sambo tells the story of Hae Ryung working together with cold-hearted historian Officer Min means darker days ahead.

Prince Jin engages on a heated debate when the government officials refuse to give aid to citizens refusing to pay taxes who were affected by a flood. Reasoning how the officers are not even paying military taxes and just dumping it to peasants who can barely survive. But Prince Jin arguments are halted by the King’s arrival, who orders him to step out and ruling on the side of the greedy ministers.

Post lesson check

After the government meeting, the female historians share their thoughts about the impossible opinions of the minister. Officer Min chides them on how being a historian should make them write without their opinions.

Presenting on their notes, the ladies express what difficulties they experienced from their first outing. Given with a guide book for them to memorize the government officials, Officer Min said that will help them with the job.

Prince Yi Rim goes to see his hyung who shares his woes about his job. Their bonding is quickly halted with a visit from an officer, who reveals the recent slaughter of people in a printing shop.

Upon hearing that the books of The Story Of Ho Dam were printed in the place, Prince Yi Rim rushes to interrupt the talk. The female historians head to where the dead bodies are to get notes while autopsies are conducted. Learning that one man survives because of a strange medical treatment, Hae Ryung is piqued if stitches are done on the survivor’s wound.

Exactly wanting to do what Hae Ryung does, Prince Yi Rim goes to check the survivor but finds him killed already. Seeing a suspicious man, he follows him while Hae Ryung rushes to find the truth about the survivor.

She stumbles on Prince Yi Rim at a sword point from the assassin. Grabbing a piece of wood, Hae Ryung prepares to help out until she hears him answer to the assassin’s question of his identity. Declaring he is Prince Do Won, he dares the man to commit a grave act to a prince of the country.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

Episode 4 Afterthoughts

The pace is what Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung really keeps its followers happy. Moreover, the storytelling is so mindful in assuring the audience will not be overwhelmed. Resident period staples like power contention, royal family internal conflict and Joseon rebel stories have already been presented. Yet so far, I don’t feel it weighing down the story.

With Prince Yi Rim haunted on the tombstone he found and its connection to him, it will add emotions to his character. Having a life he can’t control for almost all his life for his filial responsibility to the king.

It’s nice to see the layers of the main characters being tweaked each episode as the sides of them that connect their intentions and whose sides they are on once they start resolving the conflicts.

At the fourth episode, Cha Eun Woo settles on his character without inhibitions. Compared to the first three episodes, we see him struggle a bit. Good thing his senior actors Park Ki Woong, Shin Se Kyung and Lee Ji Hoon keep their portrayals stable.

Moving forward, the narrative looks going to a heavier plot. But some hints of romance notes are also expected.

Who wrote The Story of Ho Dam? What is it all about aside from being declared a banned book?

Catch more delightful stories on Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung on MBC every Wednesday and Thursday.

Image Credit: MBC
Watch on: Netflix


abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.

Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.

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