2023 Kdrama My Dearest – Episode 3+4 Recap and Theory Explained, Review

蘭句戀人第34集 my dearest ep3 4

2023 Korean drama “My Dearest” Episodes 3+4 Plot : The Korean king was being held captive by barbarians, and news came from the palace that warriors were needed to join the royal army and rescue the king. Nam Yeon-Joon led a team and urged everyone to join, but Lee Jang-Hyun had no interest in saving the king; he only wanted to seek refuge.

Before leaving, Lee Jang-Hyun instructed Gil-Chae to evacuate quickly if she saw smoke rising from the hills. And finally, that day arrived when the barbarian invasion happened faster than expected. Lee Jang-Hyun discovered a tragedy had already occurred at Lingjun’s tomb, so he decided to change his mind and confront the barbarians.

On the other hand, Gil-Chae and Eun-Ae were desperate to escape but knew that there could be barbarians lurking everywhere. They ran into the forest but ultimately faced their fate of being found by them. However, at this moment, three heroes emerged from within the woods and saved them~

⚡ Spoiler Alert ⚡
⚡ Spoiler Alert ⚡
⚡ Spoiler Alert ⚡

2023 Kdrama – My Dearest Episode 3 Recap

🔺Continuing from the episode 2 of “My Dearest,” the king has been captured by the barbarians. In Neunggun-ri, where they were happily preparing for their wedding ceremony, everyone is shocked to learn this news.

Lee Jang-Hyun suggests escaping once war breaks out. Although it’s uncertain whether the barbarians will stay for only a few days like they did ten years ago, Lee Jang-Hyun has no intention of getting involved.

At the Royal Palace, discussions arise regarding the authenticity of the prince’s confinement. At that moment, an edict from His Highness arrives stating that warriors should voluntarily go to battle to serve their country.

The next day, ministers discuss treating them with respect as requested by the barbarians who even demand that His Highness’ younger brother be taken as a captive. Therefore, ministers plan to send one of them disguised as His Highness’ brother but are quickly exposed and angering the barbarians further who now demand that Crown Prince become their hostage.

🔺Nam Yeon-Joon steps forward urging men in the village to join forces and save their ruler. However, in Lee Jang-Hyun’s eyes, if rulers can abandon their people and flee, why should it be up to ordinary citizens to save them?

That’s why Lee Jang-Hyun doesn’t want to get involved initially. But after considering how all those scholars turned soldiers would leave behind only elderly people and women in his village, he immediately thinks of Gil-Chae and wants her to seek refuge with him.

He warns her about how terrifying these barbarians can be and reminds her that scholars may also meet a tragic end which frightens Gil-Chae enough for her worry about Nam Yeon-Joon’s safety and desperately try persuading Eun-Ae not to marry him together with Nam Yeon-Joon.

However, Gil-Chae never expected things would backfire, as Eun-Ae not only fails to stop Nam Yeon-Joon but also expresses her desire to marry him. Gil-Chae comes up with a plan to make Nam Yeon-Joon jealous and desperately tries to win back his heart.

🔺Of course, the script doesn’t go according to Gil-Chae’s desired direction. Lee Jang-Hyun warns her that Nam Yeon-Joon is someone who schemes and cannot tolerate girls with a bad reputation like herself. Gil-Chae completely ruins her own marriage without shaking Nam Yeon-Joon’s feelings.

Lee Jang-Hyun encourages Gil-Chae to prevent Eun-Ae and Nam Yeon-Joon from getting married, which he is willing to help with but under certain conditions. At the Royal Palace, Lee Jang-Hyun proposes postponing all marriages until after the war because if women become widows and remarry, not only will their own futures be restricted but even their children’s official positions will be limited. True to his words, Lee Jang-Hyun cleverly resolves the marital crisis faced by Gil-Chae. However, when she sees Eun-Ae kissing Nam Yeon-Joon, her heart shatters.

2023 Kdrama – My Dearest Episode 3 ending

🔺My Dearest Episode 3 ending : Lee Jang-Hyun’s condition for Gil-Chae is that if he helps the people through difficult times and comes back alive, Gil-Chae must agree to kiss him. On the day of departure, Lee Jang-Hyun appears fully armed and imposing, but it turns out he just wants to take shelter XD

However, Eun-Ae still specially prepares things for them girls, which are said to bless them with no misfortune. No matter what, Gil-Chae doesn’t want to give anything of his own to Lee Jang-Hyun. Unexpectedly, Lee Jang-Hyun gives Gil-Chae a small knife and advises him to seek shelter if there is smoke on the mountain.

Eun-Ae secretly tells Lee Jang-Hyun that Gil-Chae’s unintentional behavior actually shows how much he cares about him; it’s just that Gil-Chae himself hasn’t realized it yet. At night, Nam Yeon-Joon and his group meet up with the royal army. They send a signal indicating that the royal army is in position for His Highness’ knowledge.

However, they didn’t expect that barbarians had already ambushed them and launched an attack while taking advantage of the situation. Nam Yeon-Joon is frightened and at a loss as to what to do. The next day after hearing this news, Lee Jang-Hyun also learns about the Mongolian soldiers joining in; their purpose being shopping and women. Upon returning to Ling County and seeing Song Chu grandfather’s and Li Lang grandmother’s fate, Lee Jang-Hyun decides that he has no choice but to do something about it.

2023 Kdrama – My Dearest Episode 4 Recap

🔺Continuing from the third episode of “My Dearest,” after Lee Jang-Hyun and Nam Yeon-Joon parted ways in the village, Lee Jang-Hyun did not seek refuge but instead went to an abandoned temple nearby. This was a necessary route for the barbarians’ invasion. On the other hand, some ministers suggested that Your Highness should accept the barbarians’ conditions to maintain stability in our kingdom through a vassal relationship.

However, another faction believed that now is the perfect time to resist the barbarians. After a night of intense battle, Nam Yeon-Joon survived while Chun-Woak perished. However, he was glad because he had shown bravery as a man for Gil-Chae’s sake.

News of defeat reached His Highness regarding the royal army’s situation. Some felt that surrendering and seeking peace talks would be wise, but there were also ministers who believed that the barbarians’ proposal was nothing more than a trap – just like what happened during Jingkang Incident where we shook hands on surface but ended up being annihilated.

Moreover, their current tactics are similar to before: starving people in important areas by cutting off their food supply until they perish. That’s why His Highness is currently confined within the city walls.

🔺Despite losing many friends, Nam Yeon-Joon still wants to save his sovereign ruler. Hearing horse hooves approaching, Lee Jang-Hyun knew that the barbarians had invaded; however, Ryang-Eum happened to be at market wanting to buy a sharp knife for him when she encountered them unexpectedly.

Upon learning this news, Lee Jang-Hyun rushed over immediately to rescue Ryang-Eum – it was already his second time saving her life! Gil-Chae saw black smoke rising from afar and although reluctant to believe Lee Jang-Hyun’s words initially, she took initiative and advised everyone to evacuate. Grandfather Song Chu and Granny Lee Lang, unfortunately, were a step behind and left the village later.

However, based on their experience dealing with barbarians ten years ago, they bravely used their wits to confront them. Yet, their ambush was quickly discovered, resulting in both Granny Lee Lang and Grandfather Song Chu being dealt with by the barbarians. The barbarians believe that they have bought enough time for others; therefore, there must be women and valuables nearby.

🔺Indeed, Gil-Chae and Eun-Ae realized that taking the water route would be dangerous; hence they stayed in Neunggun-ri. Fortunately, Gil-Chae cleverly deceived the barbarians by leading them in another direction – ensuring everyone’s temporary safety. On the other hand, Lee Jang-Hyun discovered that Grandfather Song Chu and Granny Lee Lang had passed away in the village.

Although saddened by this news, he felt it was fortunate for an elderly couple to leave this world together. Determined to capture those barbarians now more than ever as revenge for Grandfather Song Chu and Granny Lee Lang’s deaths – he wasn’t interested in saving his sovereign ruler anymore.

Gil-Chae summoned her courage to assist with childbirth but knew that under low temperatures, the baby might not survive. Therefore she overcame her fear and took clothing from a deceased person’s body while also protecting Eun-Ae when she was being harassed by the barbarians using a small knife she had on hand.

2023 Kdrama – My Dearest Episode 4 ending

🔺This incident has already traumatized Eun-Ae. She knows that people won’t believe that she encountered barbarians without being defiled. Therefore, Gil-Chae promised to treat tonight’s memory as if they both fell down the mountain and never encountered any barbarians or had any bloodshed.

Lee Jang-Hyun finally found the captured barbarians and quickly seized the opportunity to avenge Grandfather Song Chu. As for Gil-Chae, she dreamt of a husband whose face she didn’t know, leaning against his back and expressing her longing for him as well as her fear in their current situation.

However, just when the barbarians approached them and they were struggling to resist, Lee Jang-Hyun appeared. In her desperation, Gil-Chae even called out to Lee Jang-Hyun as “husband.”

2023 Kdrama My Dearest – Episode 3+4 Theory Explained, Review

蘭句戀人第34集 my dearest ep3 4

“Why should the people save their ruler when even a monarch can abandon his subjects and flee?”

Sir, why are you so good to me?” “Old man, because you deserve it.” What kind of pain does Lee Jang-Hyun’s past hide? Why does Lee Jang-Hyun think of his father when it comes to war? From the scenes in Episode 3 of “My Dearest,” it is still unclear what happened to Lee Jang-Hyun’s father.

The house seems to be on fire and young Lee Jang-Hyun can only cry for his father from outside. The background of Lee Jang-Hyun’s family history remains a mystery and a foreshadowing. He appears to be like a nobleman and shows great concern for the war between barbarians and Korea. I wonder if Lee Jang-Hyun’s father also experienced war at that time and made the choices he had to make.

In this episode of “My Dearest,” Grandfather Song Chu asks, “Why are you so good to me?” To which Lee Jang-Hyun replies, “Because you deserve it.” This exchange sheds light on Lee Jang-Hyun’s character. Perhaps he has learned from the emotional detachment during that previous war (as mentioned in Episode 1: “Humans are inherently emotionally detached; they cannot bear such grand emotions“).

Therefore, he generally doesn’t form emotional connections with others and lives freely without caring about other people’s lives. However, for Grandfather Song Chu, who is the only person who has experienced war like him, his genuine sincerity touches him deeply. Gil-Chae also displays sincere emotions even over trivial matters – an inner strength that Lee Jang-Hyun has been seeking after experiencing trauma.

In Episode 3 of “My Dearest,” under the penmanship of its writer, we see a different understanding of war from Lee Jang-Hyun. He can see through the political struggles behind wars as well as betrayals and emotional detachment among people involved. So when he says, “Why should the people save a monarch who can abandon them and run away?” it may also imply his disdain and pain towards war and human nature.

I wonder if this is related to the death of Lee Jang-Hyun’s father because their house was engulfed in flames back then. Perhaps his father’s death was due to barbarians or the war, which explains why Lee Jang-Hyun keeps asking questions like “Do you know how terrible war is?” and “Have you seen barbarians?” in Episode 3 of “My Dearest.” All these indicate the lingering shadow left by the barbarians on Lee Jang-Hyun.

In the fourth episode of “My Dearest,” the story delves into the brutality and struggles of war. The scriptwriter adopts multiple perspectives and intertwines them with the ongoing war. Lee Jang-Hyun contemplates the intentions behind the invasion by barbarians, while Nam Yeon-Joon faces unexpected attacks and experiences the pain of losing friends. Another perspective is that of His Highness, who sends out his royal army only to see it completely defeated, leaving him clueless and relying on ignorant hopes that brave civilians and soldiers will come to his rescue.

The clever design by the scriptwriter in “My Dearest” gives each party involved in the conflict a unique significance:

  • Lee Jang-Hyun vs. Monarch: Being well-versed in tactics used by barbarians due to his business dealings and interactions with their tribe, Lee Jang-Hyun possesses valuable intelligence about them. In contrast, there is an ignorant king who relies solely on ministers and news updates for understanding current affairs.

    Through this comparison, “My Dearest” highlights how Lee Jang-Hyun comprehends the pain and sacrifices brought about by war. To quote Lee Jang-Hyun himself, if kings can abandon their people, why should those people still save their king? Therefore, in Episode 4 of “My Dearest,” Lee Jang-Hyun chooses to seek refuge at Neunggun-ri near a mountain peak. At present, I believe that Gil-Chae is all he wants to protect because she is worth protecting; however, he also safeguards those commoners living closest to barbarians.

    This decision aligns with Lee Jang-Hyun’s belief that humans are inherently callous – meaning he does not want to become someone whom kings exploit as sacrificial pawns for their own lives. Thus, through this clever narrative design in “My Dearest,” we witness various traumas, shadows, darkness within Lee Jang-Hyun’s character, or rather, his profound understanding of human nature.

    What he wants to protect are the sincere commoners who earnestly live their lives, not the imprisoned monarch. This metaphorically implies that for Lee Jang-Hyun, the lives of these villagers closest to barbarians are equally important as those of kings. They should not be sacrificed because what they lose in war is their entire lifetime – a far greater loss than the power lost by a monarch.
  • Nam Yeon-Joon: This character represents bravery without prudence in times of war. Currently, this seems to be Nam Yeon-Joon’s portrayal; however, considering his intelligence as a character, I believe that in future episodes of “My Dearest,” the scriptwriter may allow him to grow and understand the true meaning of camaraderie amidst war.

I am not interested in saving the king.

The portrayal of war in Episode 4 of “My Dearest” is excellent. The screenwriter presents the experiences of each character with meticulous detail, while also depicting the horrors of war. The story of Grandpa Song Chu and Grandma Li Lang is heart-wrenching. In Episodes 1-2, the screenwriter has been portraying the genuine emotions between this elderly couple, which Lee Jang-Hyun admires and loves.

However, in Episode 4, the screenwriter gives this couple a cruel fate that is evident through visual presentation. I believe viewers can understand why Lee Jang-Hyun loves this couple so much – “We will be husband and wife even in our next life.” Instead of saving a monarch who has many people protecting them, Lee Jang-Hyun believes that it is worth safeguarding such genuine emotions because they are not superficial relationships.

“Why do people live for?” “Because of love.”

Besides instinct, another person serves as motivation to keep living. In “My Dearest,” I feel that the screenwriter deeply explores this concept throughout these four episodes, especially in Episode 3 where there is a wave of marriages taking place.

This design is quite clever as it delicately portrays the “connections” and “motivation to keep living” among people. It’s a fascinating aspect of human nature – sometimes you may give up on yourself quickly but if there’s someone you want to protect or fight for in your life, then you will have more drive to survive.

Although Lee Jang-Hyun skillfully delays the marriage trend, viewers can truly see that many characters are striving to live because they have someone they love or care about deeply – just like the most important storyline in “My Dearest,” Lee Jang-Hyun and Gil-Chae both hold onto their motivations due to their unknown future together; thus becoming each other’s missed person (while Gil-Chae also finds spiritual support and motivation to keep living through the man in her dreams).

Meanwhile, Lee Jang-Hyun discovered that both Grandfather Song Chu and Grandma Li Lang had passed away. He said, “Looks like I have to catch them,” which shows the determination to protect someone with all their might because of emotions and love. This is what “love” is about. Lee Jang-Hyun has no interest in saving the monarch, but he absolutely cannot let go of those responsible for the deaths of Grandfather Song Chu and Grandma Li Lang.

Lee Jang-Hyun doesn’t have any personal connection or feelings towards the monarch, so he believes there’s no need to sacrifice himself for them. However, for his loved ones, Lee Jang-Hyun is willing to put himself in danger. I really like Gil-Chae as portrayed by the writer in Episode 4 of “My Dearest.”

In the past three episodes, she was a girl full of romantic thoughts. But when faced with adversity, she showed immense courage and strength, even intelligence. The Gil-Chae that starts in Episode 4 makes me like her even more; she’s like a character who refuses to accept defeat and wants to protect everyone’s lives in this difficult situation

I really like the scene in episode four of “My Dearest” where Gil-Chae and Eun-Ae are covered in blood by the river. This scene completely echoes Lee Jang-Hyun’s belief that a monarch is not necessarily noble. The common people who have endured such suffering in the small village, their lives are just as valuable and they need to be saved too.

Watching Eun-Ae traumatized by this incident, it’s clear that this trauma will stay with her for a lifetime because their social status is only that of commoners. No matter how they explain themselves and deny any wrongdoing, no one will believe them.

I think through this incident, the writer of “My Dearest” portrays how an invasion can bring pain and ruin the lives of ordinary people, while the monarch only cares about his royal army not coming to save him. This leaves the common people feeling helpless. I understand why Lee Jang-Hyun isn’t interested in saving kings based on what Gil-Chae and Eun-Ae have experienced, but he decides to take action because it is these people who truly suffer from war’s brutality and deserve to be saved.