HWARANG -- EPISODE 4
He can't come to the phone, he's tied up right now.
Moo Myung is released from prison, collapsing in Ah Ro's arms, while a jealous Jinheung watches. We find out Ahn Ji was not killed by the queen's blade, but instead gravely wounded.
The future hwarang battle one another outside the Najeong (a sacred place) only to be arrested and threatened with torture and death if they do not join the hwarang.
When hiding, make sure you're properly concealed.
Moo Myung agrees to become a hwarang in order to have Ahn Ji released. Ahn Ji, once home, learns of the deal and arranges for Ah Ro to educate Moo Myung before he is inducted. In a no-holds-barred soccer game, Moo Myung distinguishes himself as an MVP to the rest of the boys.
The next day, Scar (the crooked gambler from Episode 1) kidnaps Ah Ro, and Moo Myung takes the bait. Jinheung and Moo Myung are also taken captive by the thug when they follow our heroine's cries. Blade to his throat, Moo Myung resists in a show of defiance...
And they end on a cliffhanger.
Simple minds, simple pleasures
It's pretty clear this series is going for the "fun, not serious" vibe. There's a generous amount of comic relief (usually centering around Ah Ro), but also a lot of "the wound was deep, but you'll live" trope. There's been only one death so far, and he was a minor character, largely introduced to give some justification for Moo Myung to be in the situation he's in (skillfully handled, though). The unfortunate thing is that it cheapens the story and takes the tension right out of any danger they might face.
The unfortunate thing is that I was able to predict most of where this was going. Not everything, mind you, but I figured something would go wrong with the horses, that the boys would be offered hwaranghood or death, and there would be some kind of cliffhanger. It makes things a little less interesting if you can see what's coming. I'm hoping they shake things up a little more. I didn't really see the return of Scar, though I wondered why he was popping up past the first installment.
It's my pet rock
I do have to give my approval to the full contact soccer game, though. As a guy who's distinctly unimpressed by most sports (I'd rather play than watch), I was pretty blown away. Not only did they have some nice shots but there were also no rules, as they said. Kicks to the midsection, jump kicks while intercepting the ball, and high-flying antics just amped up the scenes.
All in all, this episode was enjoyable. Despite some of the predictability, there was enough that was new to keep my interest. Ah Ro seems more inclined to accept the fiction about Moo Myung being her brother, which makes me wonder what's going to happen when a romance blossoms. I also wonder if the rivalry will keep them from becoming a cohesive team when the time comes.
We'll have to watch to figure it out. Are you guys enjoying it? Hit me up with a comment and let me know.