HWARANG -- EPISODE 14
Not the best idea to bathe with your clothes on
The rest of the Hwarang knights arrive. They scare off the peasants, who intended to rob them. In the morning, they discover all the gifts for Baekje taken -- not to mention all their food. Ahn Ji leaves the Queen and the city. Meanwhile, Minister Park sends his agents to Baekje, bringing gifts, intending to arrive before the delegation. The group of heroes gets there, and the Crown Prince ignores them, and propositions Sook Myung. Guards arrest Ah Ro for consorting with a thief, and the Hwarang when they come to her rescue. Scar is there working for Park, with the peace offering.
In Silla, Hwi Kyung visits Wi Ha and the Queen separately and suggests that Moo Myung might be a better king, given that he is not a noble. In Baekje, the Hwarang and the other prisoners from Silla (including Ah Ro) are rounded up and brought into the courtyard. The Crown Prince orders the king to step forward. If he doesn't, a prisoner will be executed every 15 minutes. The first round of prisoners are killed quickly, and then they bring Ah Ro forward. Jinheung starts blurting it out, but Moo Myung steps forward and claims he is the King of Silla...
If I thought the last episode was good, this was even better. They're really doing their best to ramp up the tension, and it works well. Even on the way to Baekje, our hapless heroes are beset by trap after trap, hazard after hazard, and they still power through it. And while I could be angry about a cliffhanger, at least it keeps me watching and wondering what's going to happen next. This is shaping up to be a really fun ride!
So Baekje was a trap. I knew it. I'm pretty sure we all did. From the robbers on the road to their reception at the capital, Minister Park and Young Shil really know how to put our heroes in danger. But what I wonder is this: does the Crown Prince know? And if he does, then why is he going along with it? What does he stand to gain? I think, ultimately, he doesn't know all of it. The way out? Appeal to his ego and let him know he's being played.
Dude. There's no arrow in that bow.
As much as I don't like the Princess as a character, at least this time she came through. I'm not sure what good it did, but at least it felt satisfying, and it seemed to please the Crown Prince. I think we're seeing her character evolve, even if she backslides a lot. She's royalty, so why does she have to behave? At least, I assume that's her reasoning. She's always been given everything, so why should she have to ask. Instead, she demands, berates, blames. Moo Myung helps her to be a better person, which I think, in part, is why she keeps him around.
Speaking of Moo Myung, I love that he stepped forward and declared himself the king. I'm not sure of the motivations behind this since Jinheung was already willing to do it. I think it was to protect the true identity of his friend, and maybe figure out a way out of this without spears being pointed at him. I kind of saw this coming, but I was still happy he did so. I have a feeling he may end up being a real king by the final episode. Moo Myung as king. It fits.
"How long are we going to have to sit here? I have to...um...go"
This show improves by leaps and bounds, and this installment got even better. We have cute moments to balance out some of the darker aspects, and there's action, thrills, suspense, and mystery. The comic relief could ruin it, but there's no sign of that here. I still laugh and am fine with it. But now, I have to wait til next week to find out what happens. Stay with me. I'm sure the best is yet to come.