Secret Door Ep 6: The Art of Maintaining Status Quo is Grisly

 Nearly all men can stand adversity,
but if you want to test a man’s character,
give him power.

– Abraham Lincoln


JG walks over to LS’ office and is surprised to see his already busy at his desk so early in the day. Has JG found out where the arrow came from? *Goongisi (*Joseon government office that manufactures weapons). So the assassin could be someone from their side or the culprit stole weapons from Goongisi. What about the *Whachup? (*Book containing a collection of drawings). If they forged it, there is a high chance they have HB’s original sketchbook.

JG has searched for it at CSS’ house, but it is not there. LS has been writing JW’s last clue over and over again, hoping to latch onto a hopeful lead since there are none alive left to pursue. He has also sent word to search all smithies in town as the word clues in to a dagger.

LS’ court lady stops by a swordsmith’s workshop and orders a silver ornamental knife. She throws a pouch full of coins, and further asks him if he knows anything about Hwabootado? If he manages to get more information on it, he will receive double the payment.

But LS’ concern is not just on JW’s clue, but on how the intel he receives often leaks out to the hidden enemies. His eunuch updates LS on his recce: there are a few suspicious government officials who are linked to the Goongisi.


A board game is set up, YJ fiddles with a token, waiting for someone. KT enters in a rather good mood, but YJ shows his displeasure by throwing the board game at him. This king is very scary. Very o_O

“How far are you going to go?” YJ crouches in front of KT. He is referring to last night’s event when LS was injured. “Are you having fun? Do you have someone else in mind to be made King?” Of course not! Alright then. Just bring the head of the attacker who dared cause injury on the Crown Prince.

Bodyguard meets Double Cross Officer

It’s the Double-Double special. LS’ bodyguard wants the officer to locate JD. He’s given four days to find her, otherwise, that is the length of time he has left being alive.

JD’s Dad meets WS

WS:  Turn JD into what? (Let her become a Gisaeng – Dad) Well, I’m fine with it, but are You really okay with it?

Dad:  I’m not asking you to turn her into a real Gisaeng. Just let her pretend to be one and stay here for a while. It’s easy to miss what’s in front of you. (I thought you were serious for a second – WS) Do me a favor… Be a good girl, okay?

JD undergoes makeover Joseon style and turns out to be quite a fetching young lady 🙂

Dad:  Y..y.. yes. You look totally different. At first glance I could not even recognize you. (I know. At her age, she’s so pretty, all the other girls will be jealous!  If she were a real Gisaeng, all the rich men would be lining up at my door – WS) HOLD ON… Even though you’re dressed like that there are a lot of people inside and out, so you have to be careful.

JD:  AIGOO! Don’t worry too much and go! If you stay here like this, people will figure it out. (She talks just like my daughter – Dad)

WS:  You’re up to something, right? Why did you say you need to hide here? What happened to your investigation? What are you up to? Tell me. Where are you going? (To see ChunWol – JD)

They both are shocked at the messy scene in CW’s house. What happened?! (Do you think something happened to her? – JD)

In a secured place, CW is held prisoner, “Is any one out there?! Please open this door! Please open up!!”

JD frantically goes through every drawer and cabinet space looking for evidence “This is HB’s sketchbook! Why is it here?” (Do you think CW’s boyfriend brought it here? – WS)

LS checking out weapons:

LS requested for some weaponry from Goongisi so he wants to test them out with his team of bodyguards, and that is when he notices the scar on his lead bodyguard, similar to what CJ described last night regarding the “assassin”. LS walks towards him and asks how he got the scar – did he get in a fight last night? Bodyguard explains he did get into a fight at the *Gibang (*place of work for Gisaengs)

LS:  Where’s this gibang? (What? – BG) The girls must be pretty there, that’s why you were willing to get into a fight.

BG:  Oh.. that’s what you meant.. Your Highness.

LS and his royal guards stand in a line testing the rifles. Everyone hits their target except Double Agent. LS teases he must not have much experience with rifles, but what about bow and arrows? Another guard pips in saying he’s not much of a shooter either. But he fist fights well. Really? Aigoo, let’s see you hands… LS sees that the guard’s thumb is extremely calloused, evidence of countless hours with the bow.

The royal guards continue testing the weapons. LS whispers to JG he is suspicious of his Royal Guard. JG notices he hasn’t been on target most of the rounds. But that’s what he wants You to think, JG..

Minister Chi Woon

Someone shot an arrow with a message attached. Minister CW unfolds it and the nightmare begins. The sender has The Maenge: If you want a deal, leave a mark on your door. He quickly informs MS whicn in turn confirms his suspicion that MS knew of its existence all this time. Dang. Now the Maenge Inner Circle has just grown a bit more in diameter…

MS visits KT

MS hypothesizes with KT regarding the “document” he has in his hands, “what if it’s not the original?” KT tells him it’s something he shouldn’t be concerned about. “Then why is there someone who wants to make a deal for it? Go check it out, Minister. No harm will come from double-checking”

MS walks out of KT’s residence and he sees CJ’s men wandering around in civilian clothing while keeping a close watch on KT’s property.

KT scrambles to his store room and rips open an envelope that contains The Maenge. And he finds an odd signature. He does NOT have the original! Kang Pil Jae!!


KT meets with his henchman outside of his home. PJ knows there are eyes watching KT’s home, hence the change of meeting venue. KT cuts to the chase and asks where the original Maenge is. PJ is keeping it sae, but KT tells him to just handover the document. “Aren’t the Old Learning Faction (Minister WS) and the West comrades now? You think of the West as your tail? If you think you can continue to use us just for you need, the Maenge can be shared with the Young Learning Faction”

JD meets LS

Both WS and JD are getting anxious about CW’s disappearance. This could spell something serious, and JD decides to meet LS. She stops JG just as was about to enter the palace grounds, she needs him to send word to LS: The criminal is taking action now.

LS with Eunuch and JG meet JD outside the palace compound. LS is worried for her safety but she informs him she hasn’t given up on the investigation, “We should serve our civilians like we do the King. You said you really didn’t believe it but I like the thought, Your Highness. I hope you can learn the way to become a good king. I want to live as a civilian in that world. Other people’s lives are just as precious as my own. I want to live by that thought.”

Ooof! She got LS right there in his heart, as well as Eunuch Jang’s and JG’s 😀

In a private room, JD hands over HB’s sketchbook to LS and he is shocked to finally have it in his hands. She found something suspicious in the book. There are names of scholars from the Old Learning Faction, which includes Lady Hong’s father. HB even drew their portraits before he died, which is a surprise to LS because HB only drew portraits of the king and prince. If that’s the case, he probably drew them not as portraits. JG reminds LS his father-in-law is also on the list and Eunuch Jang did mention of government officials leaking their info.

LS:  Then, the princess is getting information from her officials and passing it on to her father?

JG:  It’s not impossible. If the Old Learning Faction is involved in this, you can’t ignore that he’s also a member of the Old Learning Faction.

LS wants to dig further on his suspicions. He asks Eunuch to accompany JD back to her new place. LS leaps over the fence, and to his credit sneaks up on LH’s spy.


Who sent you?!

LS visits LH’s Quarters

LH wants to know why LS acts out-of-sorts for he is actually in her room. He places a box on the desk, tells her to open it: Three beautiful ornaments to go with her Royal robes. They are noticeably not as bling-bling but stately enough. LH quips she should have the bright ones, befitting a Queen-to-be, a Mother to an entire nation. Why is LS wasting time on such trivial matters?

LH has been in the palace for 10 years, and she must have experienced boredom when LS is not around, which is often. So, she should start to look for something to play with. His demeanor shifts to menacing, “How long are you going to keep someone on my tail?” DUN! DUN! “You’re corrupting my servants now?”

LH:  If you hadn’t brought a strange girl here I wouldn’t have had to do it. For the last 5 years, I’ve picked the court ladies myself. Even though I can’t remember their names, I know all their faces. But that girl was a stranger. Where did she hide then? (What are you thinking? – LS) If you want to have an affair, have it with one of the palace girls. Don’t make a mess by bringing in a girl from the outside.

LS tells her off. Whatever she has been imagining in her head has never occurred, and she better focus her time wisely on more important issues. “And stop spying on me. This is the last time I’m asking you nicely.”

Outside LH’s room, LS tells JG to fire the servant who tailed him and forget about the Princess.

Minister MS’ office

MS is working over time alone in his room, sorting out an impending crisis. LS visits him with a group of his court ladies offering him some tea to refresh himself with. LS has a favor to ask of MS, he wants to send some medicinal herbs to HB’s mother, but he doesn’t want to attract attention. MS has already taken care of that: a doctor was dispatched discreetly. LS is touched by MS’ thoughtfulness and initiative.

YJ and KT and MS

Eunuch carries in a tray meant for KT. YJ heard the Minister had been unwell, so he asked the Royal pharmacy to prepare Ginseng soup, just like the one prepared for the previous King. KT politely refuses the offer “How could I (mere minister) get this soup from Hwanchijung?”

YJ:  If you don’t want it, then you should do your job properly. What is taking so long to kill one assassin?

KT has no plans to kill him as yet, because if he does, The Maenge might fall into the hands of the Young Learning Faction.

YJ is alone again in his room, waiting for MS to show up. YJ is unhinged. He begs MS to get hold of the Maenge for him. MS replies the only thing he can do for him is to get a towel to wipe his face.

30 years ago, MS helped YJ to the best of his ability because the other ministers bullied him by boycotting discussions just because YJ was born to a maid (ie Dong Yi who later became Sookbin).

Minister MS was the only one who stayed on in the meeting room…

MS:  The world is saying you are a sinner.

YJ:  Yes, I am a sinner. The Old Learning Faction, the people who threatened the king… I became the king with their power. I am a sinner…

MS:  You could have said no

YJ:  I couldn’t have.. I could not say no. I honestly wanted to (Then why didn’t you? – MS) I wanted to live. My mother is the one who killed the current king’s mother, Heebin Jang. The one who killed the king’s mother was my mother. I wanted to have power because it’s the only way for me to survive… but I guess I have no chance. The people who said they would help me started a rebellion and were all killed. Can you also stay here with me for the next meeting? Even though my royal robes are torn and they will be the death of me I want to do what a King should do. I am going to live as a King and I’m going to die as one. That is the dream I have now.


Why didn’t YJ explain all of this to MS 30 years ago? If he did, MS would’ve met his maker much earlier too. YJ begs MS to make things right in the name of protecting the people. MS tells him he shouldn’t have become King. He would’ve made a great actor. YJ has used his tear one too many times for MS to easily fall for it again.

JD back at WS’ gibang

Eunuch Jang made sure JD arrives safely at WS’ gibang, turns around to leave for the palace but notices a group of officers have hastily made their way into the same gibang. Oh-Oh…


They skim through HB’s sketchbook, admiring his skills and JD’s words filters through LS’s mind. JG notices that there is one page where Hangeul is not used. Chinese characters perhaps? No, LS says they are *Googyul (*certain words or phrases written under Chinese characters for grammatical purposes). No way. LS mind goes back to JW’s last clue: Hwabootado. At last! A legit breakthrough in their investigation! The Hardy Boys speed walk to the Dohwaseo… and of course Pil Jae knows where they’re headed.

WS’ Gibang

The police officers barge into all rooms, looking for JD, the most wanted girl at the moment. All the gisaengs are rounded up and WS wants to know their reason for raiding her place. They got wind that the Saechek girl is a fugitive at the gibang. JD is finally caught and brought to Double faced officer. This brave lass even takes on a different persona, stating she does not know what Saechek is or any of the issues they are linking her to.

WS says it is a mistake, she would never accept a criminal to be a gisaeng. Of course, you would not. The gisaengs disperse. “HOLD ON! Except that one. You stay and serve me” JD stays rooted on the spot. Dang! Dang ! Dang! He walks up to her and grips her chin firmly “Tell me the truth. If you aren’t a gisaeng you must be from the library. If not, then she wouldn’t get so frustrated or say you can’t serve me now. Isn’t that right? Why aren’t you answering me?”

JD:  I will. I will serve you. HOLY BATTY GIRL!

In a private room, JD pours him a drink which he downs in one gulp. Hits the cup on the table and pushes it aside before advancing to the frighten JD. Before he gets to undo JD’s clothes, WS opens the door and declares her gibang closed for the day. He is Mad. Who’s the person who caused this ill-timed inconvenience?


WOOOT!! LS to the rescue!! ❤ ❤ ❤

LS :  Are you off duty? (No, not really – officer) Ah! You were interrogating someone? [To WS] Your girls’ skirts must be suspicious. If not why would a military officer come here for an inspection? [giggles] Then let’s go in. I’m here tonight for the full service. [turns to the officers] Are you here to give me a full service too? (No) You may leave then.

LS:  Are you alright?

JD:  Of course, Your Highness. This was nothing to me. [but her fidgeting says otherwise]

LS:  I am sorry

JD:  How is your investigation going? Did you find anything in HB’s sketchbook?

Bodyguard informs KT the prince will drop by Dohwaseo later tonight to further investigate.

JD:  You figured out what Hwabootado is?

LS:  Go to the Dohwaseo with me. This place is no longer safe for you.

KT throws a small weapon towards Pil Jae and tells him to stab the girl in the neck with it. And finish off the prince too. It is a weapon which was smuggled out by one of LS’ court ladies when she was in his chambers preparing his bed.


LS and JD are surrounded by black-clad men, intent on carrying out their mission. LS does a decent job of fending a few men off. JD runs to safety, making sure she’s out of harm’s way, but also helps out LS by throwing jugs/ containers at the attackers. When the situation seems to take the opposite turn for LS, CJ’s men emerge to save the day! YEAH! 😮

LS and JD flee from the scene, and after some distance, LS pants his concern “Who attacked us? And who came to help us? But first, let’s leave this place.” And the run off…while YJ’s eunuch observes them from afar. DUN! DUN!

LS:  Hwabootado isn’t Chinese. It’s Googyul.

JD:  Then, it’s not read as “Hwabootado”

LS:  Hwa is Ba. Boo is Na. Then Ta and Do.. (Ban Tado? – JD) Ban Chado. There is a document that records the country’s or the Royal Family’s ceremony. It’s called Euigye. The drawings in Euigye are called Ban Chado.

YJ:  Ban Chado? (How the heck did he get this info thisfast?! o_O )

LS:  This is the Ban Chado that HB left us. The criminal must be in it.

JD:  Who is the criminal then?

LS:  The criminal… is here.


King YeongJo played by Han Suk Kyu is one scary MotherFather of a King o_O

His acting is sublime, even purposely hams it up when needed to… but dayum.

I’m petrified.




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