By Bryan Tan
This recap, which contains spoilers, covers episodes 11 and 12 of Royal Secret Agent, which is currently available on iQiyi.
Our royal secret agent Sung Yi Gyeom (Kim Myungsoo) sure has grown into his role. In the latest episodes, the young royal agent and his team immediately start their respective plans to weasel information from the irascible, sore-ridden governor, Kim Myeongse (Kim Myungsoo), of Jeonju.
Hong Da In (Kwon Nara) is traumatically tested when she applies to become a book reader for the governor when he tests her by brandishing a sword, demanding to know who sent her to spy on him.
Yi Gyeom defends a beleaguered government caravan delivering rice to a Buddhist temple and is recruited as an archer for the local provincial outpost. Things get hilariously out of hand when he is aptitude-tested for archery and gets rip-roaring drunk, as the test involves shooting bullseyes and taking a swig of makgeolli (rice wine) for every arrow shot.
The drunken royal agent has an affectionate moment with Da In, expressing regret at her leaving once the mission is over, while managing to fall asleep at various moments during their conversation. Cute!
Yi Gyeom’s younger brother, Yi Beom, tries to settle down in a neighbouring pot-making village, but has to contend with the sharp village chief who notices him for the former thief that he was. A group of bandits also recognise him, and try to recruit him to their cause.
While accompanying the rice caravan supposedly bound for a temple as offerings, Yi Gyeom realises that the head steward of the governor’s office has been secretly selling off the rice to a wealthy merchant, despite obtaining the rice forcefully from starving village-folk.
He announces his presence as royal secret agent to the governor and confronts the corrupted officials. Before Yi Gyeom can punish them and send them to Hanyang, a seonjeonkwang (royal emissary), Kim Man Hee, arrives.
Royal Secret Agent no more?
Kim Man Hee (Chae Dong Hyun), son of the Chief State Councillor Kim Byeong Gun (Son Byung Ho), takes Yi Gyeom to task and announces his arrest. The Horse Requisition medallion is stripped from Yi Gyeom’s possession, and he is bound up to be sent to the capital on charges of treason.
But as usual, royal guard Choi Do Gwan (Shin Ji Hoon) is always on hand to spring them out, after Park Chun Sam (Lee Yi Kyung) impersonates an executioner to behead Da In. Da In threatens governor Kim Myeongse at knifepoint to spill the information on the death of her royal father, prince Hwiyeong (Woo Jae Duk).
The governor reveals under knifepoint that crucial information of the prince’s death was sent alongside a caravan to the temple. A bloodied letter, written by prince Hwiyeong himself, was stashed inside the hollowed innards of a small wooden Buddha statuette.
There is a mad rush from all camps to retrieve the statuette. If the letter is revealed to the king, prince Hwiyeong would be exonerated from his status as usurper, and Da In rightfully installed as a princess. Many high officials would be implicated as well, even including Chief State Councillor Kim.
The relationship between Yi Gyeom and Da In goes up another notch, when he brings her hand to his face while sheltering from pursuing officials. All aboard! The Yi Da (or Gyeom In?) ship is about to set sail!
Yi Gyeom and Da In go undercover yet again, this time as a wealthy female merchant and her bumbling servant Maldong. She cooks up a tear-jerking story to buy the statuette from thieves who acquired it after robbing the rice caravan, but fails when they find her suspicious and refuse to sell it.
They eventually get their hands on the statuette with the help of Yi Beom, but what will happen when they learn the contents of the letter?
The costumes of the show have definitely been on point so far; from the intricate dragon robes of the king and the crane/heron/tiger insignias on high ranking officials to Yi Gyeom’s accoutrements and the undercover garb; director Kim Jung Min has certainly spared no expense to create an immersive and historically accurate setting, enhancing the plotlines and giving credence to the series.
Read our reviews of all episodes of Royal Secret Agent here.
Watch Lifestyle videos on Yahoo TV: