HWARANG -- EPISODE 18
The wrong end of the blade. That's why she doesn't have kitchen duty.
Moo Myung races to save Ah Ro and seeks out Hwi Kyung's advice. Hwi Kyung tells him once he's king, he won't worry about a thing. And that he's Moo Myung's dad. Plus one of the Wonhwa was his mother. When the Queen announces the Wonhwa inauguration ceremony, Wi Hwa is solemn in court but smiles as he walks away. Both Moo Myung and Ah Ro are unhappy. Dan Sae watches helplessly as his grandfather becomes a human stepstool for Young Shil. Han Sung goes to Moo Myung and asks if he'll he mentor him. He's ecstatic when Moo Myung agrees. Ban Ryu is happy with Soo Hyun, but Soo Ho tells him to stay away. Han Sung finds a letter to Dan Sae insisting he kill an unnamed someone.
Dan Sae is manipulated into killing "the king" by grandpa, who tells him he will poison himself and Han Sung if Dan Sae fails. When the young Hwarang witnesses the fight between Moo Myung and Dan Sae he knows and stops the poison blade meant for Dog-Bird. He pays the ultimate price for his brother's treachery. The funeral sequence is made all the more poignant as we hear the boy's last letter to his grandpa read in his voice. The officials demand the Queen step down. Later that night, Ahn Ji devastates the Queen when he tells her that Moo Myung is the rightful heir, and why. The Queen lays a trap for Moo Myung, but things go awry when Ah Ro takes the arrow meant for Dog-Bird. Meanwhile, Jinheung strides into the throne room to claim his crown...
"C'mon, fess up. Who ordered this from Amazon?"
Throwing yourself in the way of an arrow seems to be a really common theme here, and it's getting overused. Having fired a bow many times, I can tell you it's probably fairly impossible since those things fly at a pretty good clip. But let's say that it is. I didn't live back then, nor have I fired a bow at a living thing. Let's say that you can actually outpace an arrow. Why not knock the both of you prone? That would surely be a better outcome than being wounded or dead, right? I might not have an issue with this, except that they seem to default to this shtick an awful lot.
Killing Han Sung I also thought was unfair, particularly when he was young, fresh-faced, and had asked Moo Myung to be his mentor. I mean, I didn't care for him as the petulant brother of Dan Sae, who would rather sit around, admire the ladies and drink than learn how to fight. He just seemed like he'd end up an equally useless old man. But when he asked Moo Myung to take him under his wing, I was touched. He was finally becoming a more realistic and dynamic character. Maybe we'll see him grow and change and then...and then he buys it. I don't know, maybe they needed that to underscore the point that Wi Hwa makes: the Hwarang need to be above everyone else's schemes. Maybe he's trying to make sure that, even in the midst of political turmoil, the boys do the right thing, not necessarily the expedient thing.
Sometimes, a man needs some alone time to read the newspaper
So now we have the two kings...what will happen if Moo Myung claims the throne? I actually thought he was going to do it, particularly once he learned of his parentage. Instead, he stalls, and broods, and now possibly his inaction has claimed Ah Ro's life. I'm really curious if he decides to protect everything he holds dear and challenges Jinheung's claim to the crown? I know he really hasn't been that interested in the bromance aspect, so I wouldn't be surprised. He's not afraid to cross Jinheung, and I think we're going to see some sparks fly here before the show is over.
This was nice and tense. And I love it when we finally get to know the truth about what's been going on for the past 18 episodes. We know who Moo Myung is and that his claim to the throne is not just blowing smoke. We know who the Wonhwa are, and their ultimate fate. I love how all this is coming together. And I can't even see how it's going to end, which is a great thing. This installment was particularly good, and whet my appetite for more.
Yeah. We have one week left. I'm on the edge of my seat now, because I want answers. Does Ah Ro live? Is Moo Myung going to challenge Jinheung, and will swords be bared? How is the Queen going to handle this? Haha, I guess we'll have to wait til next week to find out.