HWARANG -- EPISODE 11
True friendship means there's always enough room in the bed
Ah Ro nurses Moo Myung back to health, going without sleep for four days. Dog-Bird ignores her after he wakes up, and the other knights razz him for it. Jinheung and Moo Myung practice horse archery and bond. Moo Myung finally confesses to Ah Ro, and they both act like giddy teens in love. The Princess tells Wi Ha she wants the Hwarang to fight to the death, to hone their martial skills. Moo Myung loses Jinheung's bracelet and it is brought to Minister Park. They now mistakenly believe that Moo Myung is the king. The Queen arranges Ah Ro's assassination and sets a trap for her. Ahn Ji ponders about eliminating the Queen. Out hunting with other Hwarang, Moo Myung catches the Princess' arrow meant for Ah Ro. Jinheung knows who fired the arrow and confronts her. Later, back at Hwarang House, a banner is unfurled saying "the King is within Hwarang." The banner bears the image of the missing bracelet. Wi Ha tears it down, and as the knights go indoors, Jinheung, Ah Ro, and Moo Myung are left to ponder what it means...
The assassination attempt was a bit weird. The Princess goes to the trouble of installing Ah Ro as her personal doctor, in order to kill her? And she goes through all this trouble only to fail. She's going to need a good cover story as to why she wasn't where her servant said. Not only that, but is Ah Ro still her personal physician? Is Ah Ro still in danger? And the ice princess appears to be melting somewhat, but there is no motivation to do so.
I'm not sure what the point of the banner was. I know it can shake things up some (and did), but I don't think it had the desired effect. Wi Ha saw to that. Unless the intent was to gauge reactions among the Hwarang to figure out who was most affected. And then, by default, the one who is most rattled by it is the king? I thought it was a little unconventional at least, but I guess the writers felt they had to do something. I was at best unconvinced.
I'm glad they're finally done with the whole brother/sister storyline for Ah Ro and Moo Myung. Which clears the way for romance. We were treated to some very cute moments between them, and Moo Myung's awkwardness made it even funnier. I wanted this earlier, but then Jinheung would have to become a credible rival, instead of just the man who can't take no for answer. Now that they've begun in earnest, are we going to see Jinheung take a more active (and less creepy) role in wooing Ah Ro? Or will he realize when he is beaten?
Silla Pizza. 1500 years ago, there were no toppings.
I really thought this episode had a lot more to like, even there were a few awkward parts (which I think has to do with the acting). The bromance between the young king and Dog-Bird is finally getting off the ground, though I thought it was a bit sudden and under-explored. Maybe this is the writers' way of throwing them together quickly so they can stand together against the corruption in Silla. I also thought the action sequences were refreshing.
Overall, not half-bad. They've finally pulled some things together and shown that they can handle an actual plot, instead of tons of introduction. The anachronisms are far less common than they were, and now we can get to the meaty parts, where our heroes not only have to stand against the Queen, but Minister Park as well. I'm rooting for you, Hwarang, don't let me down.