Saimdang : Light’s Diary Episodes 17-18 : The Empire Strikes Back?




Ji Yoon watches as one of her best cards is burned right before her eyes while Saimdang wins an important contract for paper. As one hero wins, the other hero loses. Ji Yoon and Sang Hyun have worked hard to bring the truth to light and yet Professor Min snuffs it out before their very eyes. And there are even more losses to come. Join Kate and me, Wendilynn as we file down our bitten off nails in this week’s episodes of Saimdang: Lights Diary .

Kate: I was so worried for Saimdang when the fire at her paper factory broke out, when she didn’t appear at the first stages of the paper contest, and when she had to work with adulterated paint to prove her paper better. I couldn’t believe that she would win because it seemed to early to resolve everything in the past. I was so happy when the envoy from China pointed to her as the winner right after it seemed Whieumdang would win. Yay! But it seems that there are a lot more conflicts and setbacks in present day… as well as loose ends that I’m sure will show up as conflicts for Saimdang in the past next week.

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Wendilynn: They have been telling this story in such an interesting way. You get one perception of the story and then they fill in all the missing pieces till you get what really is going on. If this was in the hands of a less competent director and editor, it would be a mess. But it grips me in my seat the whole time. I have to admit I was pleased with watching Whieumdang suffer the loss of the paper contract. All their cheating failed them. Even the last moment of switching out the base water for the paints.

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Kate: I still don’t think that Whieumdang and her husband have faced their full comeuppance yet. I guess they can’t get rid of them because they are the big villains. Why else would Min Chi Hyung be exiled instead of executed? He was going to be executed before, and now that Gyeom has discovered and proven even more crimes, his punishment gets downgraded? It doesn’t seem realistic unless Gyeom and Saimdang (or just Gyeom) need to face him again later in the series. What do you bet he’ll be meaner and leaner and looking for revenge?

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Wendilynn: We have 12 more episodes so yeah, I doubt we’ve seen the last of them. I’m thinking they are hooked up with those Japanese in some fashion. Lol, Min Chi Hyung was simply too well prepared to get killed that easy. Whieumdang is the type of woman to crawl under a rock and come out stomping the rest of the insects to bite you in the ankles. Lol

Kate: I also had some Secret Investigation Record flashbacks when Gyeom appeared with that gun and wearing that hat. I almost expected aliens to be the next big antagonist. You gotta know Chi Hyung would use anything and anyone to rise again, aliens included. On the other hand, it was heartening to see the bright, clean and happy village that the drifters build around their paper production area. They all looked so happy and healthy compared to when we first met them. Saimdang has time to paint again too. Though I wonder where her husband is in this 2 years in the future.

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Wendilynn: I’m laughing over here at your mention of S.I.R. I was so glad to see the drifter village full of happy people. Even that little traitor had a happy ending. Such good things happened for those most deserving of people. I really wish we could say all is well in our modern story. I know what I said about the husband in our last discussion, but I really didn’t want to see him go over a cliff.

Kate: Am I a bad person if I’m just a little hopeful it may clear the way for a romance with present day Gyeom, our photographer and art investigator Rade? I too didn’t want to see Ji Yoon’s husband go over the cliff, but there are some interesting story developments we might get if he has an untimely death. He might survive, too, and live to release those papers that clear him.

Wendilynn: I hope he lives simply so those papers survive. But, again, I also hope to have Saimdang and Lee Gyeom meet again in the future. I can’t believe Pro. Min. I know he burned Mount G. in front of them, but there is a part of me that wonders if he destroyed a copy. He was simply too fascinated by the apparent puzzle of the real and the fake. He is an art professor and the fake was enough like the real thing that it could be convincing. With the real one in front of him, you could see the curiosity forming at the puzzle in front of him.

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Kate: It has to be a copy! Though it could just be wishful thinking. I couldn’t imagine getting rid of this important painting for real if you were so engaged in the study of art such as this. I would imagine it may be very satisfying for him to keep it and study it on his own, even if he couldn’t share it with the world. Though my guess about the “fake” Gyeom painting is that it was made either by Saimdang or Whieumdang… but since learning that Mae Chang also becomes a painter, perhaps she could be in the running for the artist as well? Any of the three are attached to the story and could have a valid reason for having created their peace with commonalities to Gyeom’s.

Wendilynn: Did you see the original hanging up on the wall of Saimdang’s workroom? Or maybe that’s what becomes our fake?

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Kate: I thought I saw something that looked like the painting, but I wasn’t sure what to think yet. It’s been two years- she could have made that, Gyeom could have made it. Though why he would hide his own painting makes little sense… it makes more sense he’d hide hers after her death or after they had to finally part for good. There are a few clues, but they could go a couple of different ways right now. I guess we’ll have to watch a few more episodes before we settle on a solution. Did you see them talk after she won the contest? How adorable they were. I think Saimdang telling him that she was always grateful and bowing deeply to him is about as close as we’re going to get to a full on declaration of love from her.

Wendilynn: There is no way Lee Gyeom would allow her confession poem to disappear from his sight. If that was all he was going to have of her, he would not let it go. So I think that’s why that part of the real Mt. G painting survived. We, of course, haven’t seen the whole story yet and this show loves to give us only bits and pieces at a time.

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Kate: I’m interested to see what will happen next after the Professor’s apparent burning of the painting. Where do Ji Yoon and her allies go from there? And all this after it looked as if she had been gaining ground in her difficult life situation. It was sweet to see both Ji Yoon and grandma had found new jobs to try and contribute to the family income; Ji Yoon as a part timer (with the tavern keeper as her boss!) and grandma selling cosmetics. They seemed to be optimistically pushing forward. I hope the apparent loss of the painting and chance at beating the Professor doesn’t leave Ji Yoon in too large a funk for too long. They’ve got to win somehow. Fighting! Maybe that’s where Rade comes in.

Wendilynn: I think they will need Rade to help prove the forgery. That would explain why the writers let Mt. G burn, or seem to burn. Its out of their hands as proof, in any case. I also liked seeing Grandma trying to work. I think listening to Pro. Min threaten Ji Yoon was a turning point for her. She now knows that her daughter in law is up against some mean adversaries. She’s still embarrassed, though, I doubt she ever thought she’d ever have to “work”.

Kate: With Grandma’s help, and Ji Yoon and her friends, Rade, Min Seok (if he’s still alive), and maybe even Director Sun since she seemed pretty mad to be outfoxed by CEO Song, how can Ji Yoon lose in the long run? With the way the story has been handled so far, I’m sure to enjoy puzzling it out as the journey continues to the end.


Where does Ji Yoon go from here?  Are they at the mercy of Sun Group or is there a path to victory for them?  Will Rade be the key?  What do you think so far of our story? tell us in the comments below. 

Saimdang: Light's Diary (Herstory)

For more from your Drama Club check out:

Wendilynn: As the Kimchi Turns | DF video drama club | My Shy Boss | Past Drama Clubs

Kate: Let’s Fight Ghost | Answer Me 1988 |Entertainer| Orange Marmalade| Fall in Love Like a Star

For past episode reviews

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