SCARLET HEART: RYEO -- EPISODE 12
"No! Don't tell me 4minute disbanded!"
Hae Soo is banished from the palace, and an unexpected development throws the palace into chaos...
It got really dark, really fast. What was weird was the pacing and the suddenness. It seems like they tried to warn us once, through Woo Hee's fantasy, but that seemed like some flight of fancy more than anything. Soo's situation seemed similarly grim. It's not like I expect all sweetness and light, or non-stop, comedy, but frankly, the most interesting part was the few seconds they show of Prince So riding to and from the province of Jin, accompanied by a rousing theme.
This episode really didn't work as well as I thought. Matter of fact, it contained several flaws:
"Wait, I think I left the oven on..."
The time shift. This was really disorienting. Not only did they have to tell you through dialogue that a year had passed but also I felt cheated. It's like, you mean to tell me that life outside the royal rumpus room is so boring that a year can pass without any exposition at all? True, they do show us that Hae Soo has outsider status even among those who labor there but to just shift like that feels wrong. Maybe a montage to tie it together would have been less jarring.
The comic relief. Why in the midst of all this gloom would you put the comic relief in there? I'm not an Eun-hater but it seemed an unnecessary scene. It seems a bit out of place. I would have picked Prince So's return, maybe, to give the scene more of a punch. Instead, it seems more awkward than anything. Or you could move it to another episode entirely, maybe not one with such shadowy overtones.
"Your lifeline is very strong -- hey, why are you hiding your hand?"
The romance. This is where I have the largest issue. The only one who seems dedicated to her now is So. Wook's out of the picture, yet still in the picture as he cares for her. He realizes that he can't marry the lowest of the low. So is determined to have her at any cost, but she's scared of him. Once again, an hour passes with no progress in the love department. Now I'm willing to settle for a good boyfriend for Hae Soo to drop out of the sky.
Woo Hee. Seohyun was really unconvincing as a swords-woman. I like her as an idol, but she seemed much less of a badass than she was supposed to be. Her acting is meh, what little we see of it, and her control of those swords is less than masterful. They bounce, and she looks awkward. When we see her run after Baek Ah, it looks particularly bad. This was aside from the clumsiness written into the script. Either find a good stuntwoman for her or give her some more training.
A true Kodak moment
It seems like the writers are falling down on the job. The pacing is off, and the story is suffering as well. Maybe it's due to idol actors, pressure from fans, or a bad case of writer's block. This episode was less enjoyable than the others were, easily the weakest in the series. They need to work harder to reach the bar they set so high in the first half of the series.