HWARANG -- EPISODE 19
"Those mosquitoes get me every time!"
Jinheung comes forward to claim his throne. Meanwhile, Ah Ro is felled by an arrow meant for Moo Myung. Pa Oh appears, telling Moo Myung to get the girl to safety while he holds off Hyun Chu and his men. The commander doesn't back down until he's forced back by an arrow fired by Sook Myung. Our hero gets Ah Ro to her dad, and we find the wound is not fatal. In the palace, the Queen urges Jinheung to go back into hiding. He refuses. Meanwhile, in the streets, the kids recite a chant that Moo Myung is the king of kings. We also learn from Young Shil that the Queen has been drinking poison tea for 10 years. Wi Hwa makes the most of his retirement, and the Queen collapses when the Princess challenges her. Moo Myung seeks allies in his bid for the throne. Soo Ho acts as the commander in Hyun Chu's absence and cares for the Queen. The Princess berates Ah Ro, telling her to break up with Moo Myung. Moo Myung visits Ah Ro, who tells him to go take the throne. but Jinheung puts a blade to his neck when he does so, which Moo Myung parries and they end up in a standoff...
And, of course, the trailer seems way too revealing this time. From here it looks like the Queen has stepped down, Moo Myung is king, and Jinheung takes control of the Hwarang. So is there any reason to watch? Well, yeah, they could have shown the parts to make us think that was what was going on when something entirely different is on the horizon. I could be way off and frankly, I'm hoping I am. It gets boring when you know what is going to happen next when you can see the endpoint from miles away. Obviously, you know that good will triumph over evil but what if the plot is more complicated than that?
When you're the Queen, you can nap anywhere you want.
And so now the two kings square off. Jinheung has made it pretty obvious he's going to challenge any contenders to his throne. And he's willing to shed blood to keep it. And here's the issue. Jinheung/Ji Dwi has already said that Moo Myung/Sun Woo is his only friend. Wouldn't you find a way to resolve this without bloodshed if possible? Is threatening the only thing he can come up with? Maybe they were trying to end the episode on a tense note? They've gotten better with the cliffhangers as time goes on. I'm hoping there's a better way than what they've chosen because I like 'em both. I think either of them could make some good choices to make them well-loved kings. So, I'm on #teambromance. Which king do you guys support?
At least we know now why the Queen is so messed up. I used to think she was so drunk on power, and paranoid, that she wasn't able to think straight. Autocratic, cold, sure of herself, and her daughter is exactly the same. The only indication we got that something was amiss was when Ahn Ji was musing about poisons in a much earlier episode. Other than that, we didn't see too much of anything other than the drama queen (pardon the pun) making an ass of herself. It's a little awkward to reveal this at this late stage in the drama.
It's never too late to have a second childhood.
I am hoping that in some ways the Queen survives, and Soo Ho is able to soften her hard edges and melt the ice queen. As much as that romance would be impossible, it would also be fun. Soo Ho deserves happiness, and if he can find it with her I think she would lighten up a great deal. After all, she's not really ruler anymore. Can you think of a better way to spend your retirement than with someone who adores you?
I do think this show had its fair share of surprising events. Not only do we get Ah Ro shot with an arrow, but also Pa Oh defending Moo Myung (I never really thought he had it in him), the queen's poisoning, and the final pieces of the puzzle put together for Moo Myung. He knows he's now a Sacred Bone and has every right to the throne. This is a great thing, because this installment seemed to be a little slower than the rest, and packed with filler. But no, in between everything, we have little bits of info that surface and impact the plot heavily. Kudos to the writers, it's a nice touch.
"I used to be an adventurer like you, until I took an arrow to the...oh, never mind."
It's definitely worth watching, this show really decided to make something of itself after the mess of the first few episodes. This episode was quite adroitly done. I was unsure about it at first, and believe me, it has flaws, but I like that there's enough good about it to look past the sometimes awkward acting (the mains do an okay job). And I'm really looking forward to the next one.