Secret Door Ep 3: One Man’s Poison is Another Man’s…

People say I’m ruthless. I am not ruthless.
And if I find the man who is calling me ruthless,
I shall destroy him

– Robert Kennedy



Prince LS reads out in disbelief the outcome of HB’s autopsy: Suicide? Even the most straight-forward of men, Chief Hong Gye Hee succumbs to group pressure in his road to “justice”. He paints a possible scenario: HB broke hid neck as he fell head-first into the well. The witnesses who “assisted” in his investigation mentions HB being drunk and did say he was going to Ehlong (King GyeongJong’s tomb). Really now?

Even Minister MS is surprised with the Chief’s report. The Chief has taken a few steps in to the Dark side.
Prince LS’ eunuch announces there is an urgent *Jungyoo for him… (*Order from the King)

A scroll is brought in. It reads:

Shin Heung Bok was a traitor. Behead him and put his head on display.

He can’t hold any property now. His family should be placed into slavery.

Send them to the North.

A few ministers are puzzled with the speed the Jungyoo was sent out. The meeting on Captain’s findings is not even over yet. Chae JeGong and Park Moon Soo have definitely caught on the deliberate cover up on this matter. And who truly was HB to warrant such immediate wrath from the King? MS shoots a look at the poker-faced Lord KT.

Noron ministers are interested to know what LS decides, but he stays mum and dismisses the court. MS catches the unspoken glance between Captain Hong and Lord KT.

JiDan at Gisaeng’s

JD is beside herself regarding HB’s autopsy findings. They are all lies! She clearly saw his murder at Soopogyo. JD vents her frustration at a gisaeng who told her to send her note to a trustworthy officer a few days ago. She can’t trust anyone with finding the truth, except herself. Go, go JD, Go! 🙂

Japochung, Captain Hong’s Office

SUICIDE? Officer Min Woo Sub barges into the Captain’s office and demands an explanation. Yes, a few witnesses came to share their accounts but the investigation itself was not done in-depth enough to draw such conclusion within such a short time. What about the report he received from the witness who clearly provided facts that only the knew after the medical examiner had performed the autopsy.

The Captain believes that could’ve been a red herring, someone who is working either for the Norons or Sorons for they are forever bickering over influence at the Royal Court. “You want to be played by them?” Captain asks Officer WS.

“If there’s even a tiniest shred of doubt, I shall pursue it to the end and close this case. You’re the one who taught me that.” BOO YAH! 😀

Prince LS’ quarters

He puts down the Jungyoo and reads HB’s personal note to him:

Tonight, I’ll visit you once Saechek crackdown is over. I have something to tell you. It’s important so please don’t go to bed before I arrive.

Does that even sound like HB’s a traitor? LS has a feeling his death is masked by something bigger, and by someone powerful enough to influence the king. LS can’t bear to see HB branded as a traitor. So, what can he do? He courageously makes his way to see his father.


LS:  I am going to re-investigate this

YJ:  It’s not going to happen, so just leave. The investigation is over.

LS:  The results aren’t right.

YJ:  It was up to you. You were the one who chose investigator Hong. Why didn’t you choose someone you trusted?

LS:  He [HB] didn’t have a reason to kill himself. Father, he would never slander the Royal Family. (How do you know that? – YJ)

LS:  [torn whether to tell him about the note or…] I consider him a friend.

YJ:  [becomes livid and throws scrolls at LS] How can someone be friends with a *Gookbon? (*prince). You fool. [Returns to his throne, and gives a second thought to LS’ request] Fine. Try it. If you’re saying it’s for a dead friend, you should try.

Wow. What a turnabout 😮 . LS is hopeful. YJ is likely to cook up another plan to botch his idealistic son’s investigation.


A group of ladies are doing their washing by the stream. JD arrives at the scene of the crime, mentally going over the facts she knows of that fateful night. If he fell down from the bridge, his identification tag must have followed him and probably thrown off from his falling body…

Lord KT

He is informed by Minister Min of LS’ re-investigation. He sprints from his office to see the King at one of the pavilions in the garden. Why a second investigation when KT tried to hard to curb the first one? How is this going to protect the Maenge? YJ slaps on KT’s shoulder and says he should protect it (instead of the king) and walks away.

KT:  Oi! Lee Geum! [WHOAA!!! o_O That’s a slap of a reminder!!] 30 years ago on that night at *Hwanchijung (*place where GyeongJong passed away) we were in the same boat. Have you forgotten?

YJ:  Ya, KT. Do you still think I’m a man who lives his life in fear? The man before you is the King of this Nation now. You’ve known me for 30 years, you still don’t see the difference?

KT:  If my side dies, you will too.

YJ:  [smiles] I will forgive you once for old time’s sake. Once is enough. Don’t do it twice. If you give me an attitude again I’ll cut out that tongue of yours.

House of Deil Group

Rows of masked noblemen sit patiently waiting for the meeting to commence. This is a familiar sight as they sat in the same position on the night of the attempted assassination on YJ. Minister walks in and announces “The Leader” is coming. The masked yangbans rise, as well as a group of black-clad men in a separate room. Lord KT takes his place at the honorable position in the room behind a screen.

KT:  We are going to have a war.


Eunuch is curious why YJ allowed LS to proceed with his investigation as it could spell trouble for the Maenge. He believes YJ should have shown allegiance to KT or some thing worse might happen. YJ didn’t say he wasn’t on KT’s side. He chose to do so to teach the prince a lesson.

Man! YJ takes tough love to a whole different level! o_O

JD snoops at Soopogyo


She carefully treads on the rocks, checking beneath loose ones and finally finds the tag nestled safely within the cracks. Very pleased with her progress, she skips back into town with the tag in her hand, but not really hiding the fact that she has a very important and dangerous piece of evidence.

Captain Hong’s office

Someone is NOT happy. He tells Double-Cross officer to hurry over to Soopogyo and find out what is going on and passes him a note for Young Sang.


This is the start of investigation. Find out from people at nearby shops if they had come across HB or witnessed the incident. Look for Saechek signs too.

JD remembers that HB was supposed to meet her for the book that night, so if she found the tag, who took his bundle of books away?

The said book is with Minister MS 😮 who keep it in Joseon-style safe that is hidden in the wall, behind a scroll.

LS’ eunuch, in civilian clothing, goes to east Booyoungji where he and HB went to find the Saechek (as instructed by LS) to locate the Saechek courier. They must know something! Find them for some real evidence. He inserts the note into the bamboo container, and the familiar gisaeng retrieves the note and gasps “Is the prince looking for JD?”

Minister MS meets LS at the bridge. LS wonders what brings MS all the way to Soopogyo. MS asks is the re-investigation a smart move by the prince. He knows how much LS liked HB. LS says he is re-opening the case not because of his personal feelings, but there were many doubts that couldn’t have made the Chief’s report conclude death by suicide. MS asks LS if he thinks Captain Hong was threatened instead? LS is sure someone is deeply involved in it.

MS:  How far do you think you can go? If HB was not a traitor, people are trying to turn him into one. If they controlled Captain Hong, they must be powerful. They must be stronger than you think.

LS:  They killed an innocent civilian, and branded him a traitor. I don’t care who it is or how strong they are. I will hunt them down myself and find out the truth.


King’s eunuch shares a interesting bit: Park Moon Soo was instigating the prince. YJ suspects as much as MS was the one who recommended Captain Hong to lead the investigation, which means MS knows about the Maenge.

House of Deil Group

KT is also informed of MS’s involvement in the case and also concludes he must know of the Maenge’s existence. But who told him about it? Minister Han to find out and to carry out a task.

Japochung (Police Station)

LS arrives with his team along with Minister Chae JeGong. He informs Captain Hong he is re-investigating HB’s case and will review all related documents as well. Everything is packed up, including HB’s body and all witnesses to be recalled for questioning. Officer WS is enthusiastic for being picked out to be part of the inquest, but what great timing to receive news of his father’s ill-health 😦

However, he was re-routed to Minister Han’s place and was given a note that is critical to HB’s case. Minister Han tells him to not be involved in the case. Officer WS remains true to his intent to seek justice. Minister challenges him to kill him on the spot if he still wants to continue his investigation.

LS goes through the reports compiled by his team. Captain Hong enters the room. LS asks if Captain is scared of the case being re-opened. Should he be scared? Captain puts up a calm front. If there was anything Captain wanted to rectify, this was the time to do so.

ep3_SDChiefLS:  The *Dongchamwhasa (*Artist who draws the King and the Prince) was HB’s oldest co-worker and also his best friend. According to his testimony, HB never slandered the Royal Family. This is the opposite of what your witnesses said. If that were the case, don’t you think you would’ve investigated further?

Your investigation is insufficient. How can you be confident after that? Rash judgment can lead to irrevocable consequences. That could mean the sacrifice of an innocent civilian. Isn’t that brutal? Do you know what’s worse? I’ll let you find out for yourself. Who knows? While you’re finding the answer you might find something to make it right.

HB’s house

JD finds her way into HB’s home which has been cordoned off by crime-scene tape, Joseon style 🙂

Her mission: find the missing book. Still comes up empty. Did the murderer take the book with him?

She asks s fellow artisan who HB’s best friend would be. Jung Woo? He hasn’t been around the area lately. Why is JD looking for him? Quick ad-libber, she says WoonShim (gisaeng) asked her to bring him. The artisan thinks JW was caught having an affair with ChunWol who works at WoonShim’s.

Japochung (Police Station)

JW is lurking outside the main entrance, watching LS and his men assembled outside with all evidence ready to be transported elsewhere, including HB’s coffin. Only JW knows HB was about to blurt everything to the prince before he died.

Lord KT’s home

Captain Hong rushes over, and asks KT if there is a spy in the Police Station. KT tells him to take care of the spy because he is in the same boat as the rest. Captain insists “it” was a one-time deal. He does not want to get any deeper in the mud with the rest who are in a power struggle. KT calmly retrieves a couple of scrolls and threatens Captain with the details of what is recorded in them.

Hong is a straight-forward man, just as MS says, but because of a single mistake, he has been treated like he owes the rest of his life to the Norons. KT insinuates the King’s involvement in this debacle, so Captain Hong has to do whatever it takes to stop LS. The results remain as is: The King decrees it so.

MS meets YJ

YJ is waiting for the summoned Minister, playing Goh by himself. MS is surprised to meet YJ in the middle of the night. YJ veils the game of Goh as a warning to MS to cease his machinations. He knows MS brought HB’s body to the tomb site to warn YJ.

MS bows respectfully and beseeches to YJ to correct the path of history as it is still repairable. Justice is the foundation of genuine power when ruling over a nation. “No, you’re the one who is stubborn. Why did I tell you to destroy the Maenge 10 years ago? What did that accomplish? You really don’t know? You can never win against me.”

MS says he can tell the truth to LS, and if he’s lucky, he can take KT down with him. YJ warns him right back: MS could go down with someone else… “Power is like a knife. If there’s someone in my way it can be very dangerous. Don’t instigate the prince. There will be war if you don’t stop… if you can’t handle it, stop telling the truth.” In other words, you pit my son against me, I have no problem striking him down with my sword, along with those who are on his side.

Man, it is such a treacherous life being part of the Royal Court o_O

LS in his CSI HQ

No new leads found. Investigation Round 2 has hit a major set-back. LS sits at his desk and draws a portrait of the Saechek girl, JD.

JD at underground library

She’s mulling over clues she has compiled so far: ID tag, the book lending record, and the scroll. To prove he was holding onto the tag, she must’ve given everything to him. Her dad overhears her and warns JD not to do that again, the Saechek might just be over within seconds.

Captain Hong is beside himself: How come no one can get hold of this mystery girl? Double-cross Officer even put a tail on her, but she managed to dodge. “Then we just have to go to all Saechek libraries to get her.” Oh Noes… 😦

Crackdown begins, but the Saechek network is a smidge slower than LTE – breaking news filters back to Chul Joo.

JD continues to re-hash information gathered that day. ChunWol was sobbing at WooShim’s worried about JW. He knows HB wouldn’t kill himself, and JW feels he might be next to be killed. Chul Joo and his ninja-men are stealthily rushing towards JD’s house. The authorities have arrived first and are banging noisily on the main gates. JD scurries to the library, warning his father and the workers.

My heart rate has just picked up speed. The officers break their way into the compound, but everything is silent as a church mouse. Team Chul Joo is also there but strategically waiting for the right moment to strike. After a few more rounds of inspection, nothing suspicious seem to pique their interest, until Double-Cross officer takes a closer look at the peppers strewn all over the straw mat to be dried out. Oh-oh... Nothing strange here, turns to leave, and a noise comes from under the deck DUN-DUN-DUNNN! o_O


The officers find themselves in a very cleaned-up underground “office”. The Saechek has disappeared. DC snoops around and asks about JD. Dad says he got the wrong place, but DC pushes his head to the desk and demands JD’s whereabouts. Father relents saying “Ok, first gotta send a message to YoungSang” That is a name DC is familiar with. He stops bullying JD’s dad. Dad tells him to check with YoungSang of his identity. He doesn’t believe him.

I am Book keeper. This is underground storage where I keep rare books. I was told to keep these rare books that came from the Chung nation. These books that will go to YoungSang are worth quite a lot. Yes! A book is expensive. That’s why there’s a facility like this. You just can’t keep rare books just anywhere for a thief to steal.

DC continues his search and stumbles onto a device that may lead to a secret opening. The workers and JD who have been hiding quietly behind it rush into position to hold the entrance down. After much force, DC almost reveals the secret doorway until a young girls calls out “Ahbeoji” from above.

Woot!! There’s even a JD doppelganger! XD ❤ this network!

One of the officers indicate to DC the girl does not resemble the wanted person. DC warns dad, he can always return to this place and get to the bottom of things once and for all.

WoonShim’s place

LS and eunuch meet WS at the entrance. He knows his note was safely taken into custody. Both men walk into the Gisaeng’s abode with two of LS’ bodyguard taking watch on the perimeter.

LS shows JD’s portrait to WS asking if she knows of her. He knows she’s adept at evading police crackdowns and that someone must be helping her, otherwise it is a rather impossible feat. She maintains she doesn’t know anything and whatever he asks her she will answer in the same fashion. Eunuch wanted to admonish her for her bluntness. She glances towards an adjacent room. A shadow of yangban is all that can be seen.

LS leaves WS’ with his group, but he feels she is hiding something. LS’ bodyguard offers to stay back just to observe a little more just to get more info. LS agrees.

WS enters the adjoining room. Captain Hong has been enjoying his meal in there. No Wonder!

Hong:  Do you really know nothing about the Saechek girl?

WS:  Should I repeat what I said to the prince?

Hong: I was never here. If someone found out I was then I might cut out your tongue.

He walks out and meets with his officers “how is the Crackdown?” – and LS’ bodyguard overhears this. BUT Hong sort of knows “someone” was in the shadows…

Underground Library

Dad is glad Chul Joo and his men stood their ground during the intense period, otherwise the situation could’ve been worse. Dad asks CJ to look after JD for the time being. Everyone seems to be looking for her and it’s dangerous for them to link her back to the Saechek library.

WS meets Dad and asks if her girl did well. Thank god for quick thinking friends!! XD

LS and JG at CSI HQ

Both are going through autopsy reports. LS grabs a list of search and seizure findings. Wasn’t a *Whachup collected during the search? (*book of collected drawings) JG said there wasn’t any.

According to the Dongchamwhasa’s testimony, he never heard of Shim Heung Bok slander the Royal Family.

CJ’s house

JD wonders if JW will remain safe, “Don’t let the murder become a another murder. That is the preface of my new novel. Isn’t it great?”  Not bad, says CJ. Main character is awesome too: powerful, kind, righteous and never backs down even when in danger. A wrongful death begets another wrongful death.

After HB’s murder, JW got scared too and they’re real people. Not fictitious characters in her novel.


LS in his royal garb enters Captain Hong’s office, “Inspection?! Why were you searching Saechek libraries last night?” Hong maintains it was a random check. LS grabs JD’s wanted poster on his desk “Why are you trying to catch her?” What would be the reason not to then? Hong says she’s involved in an illegal library, that is why they were looking for her. Is LS suspicious of Hong just because his report gave a conclusion he did not want?

The Hunt for JW

JG warns LS to remain objective during the investigation and not make it a personal matter.  They need to find evidence a wrongful death other than suicide and not find evidence to fit into LS’ theory of how HB died. LS has summoned all the artisans so JW should be with him. But to his dismay, JW is not and according to one of them JW has been MIA for several days. JG senses something amiss. At last, a real lead to follow through.

KT is also informed of  JW. Another one knows about the Maenge? He tells his man to get to JW before LS does.

MS finds JW

JW accuses MS as HB’s murderer. “Yes you’re right” o_O “You should go to Donggoongjun right now and tell them everything you know. Go reveal what you know about me. Go tell Prince everything you know, and I will take care of the rest. You need to hurry or you might get hurt.

JW makes a detour to the Dowhaseo/ studio before going to Donggoongjun to find out what exactly HB drew in the *Banchado (*drawing of royal court ceremonies)

Men in black are making their way to Dowhaseo, JW leaves the building, but nabbed to side to safety (?) JW begins to shout out of fear, but as he sees the uniform he realizes he is from the Royal court. Oh NO! LS’ bodyguard indicates to JW to stay silent and look back, the real thugs who mean to harm him have just arrived.




The place is set up for an interrogation. Paraphernalia of Torture are neatly arranged on the table, and bound JW is kneeling on the ground… And YJ is getting a headache. What will happen if JW blurts out the truth about HB’s death? All these damage control maneuvers is getting out of control.  YJ screams out “Park Moon Soo!”

The Game of Goh, Royal Court Version, has just gotten interesting…


“Rash judgment can lead to irrevocable consequences” – this sounds like the death knell for Crown Prince Sado who could have done so much for the nation…


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