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[Drama Review] 'Hwarang' - Episode 20 (Finale)

By eric_r_wirsing   Wednesday, February 22, 2017   51,584   7,604   0



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That's the most excited I've ever seen contestants in a relay race.

Jinheung, after explaining what he wants to accomplish as king, drops his blade and tells Moo Myung to strike. But Bird-dog severs his bracelet and stalks off. Jinheung captures Ah Ro as a hostage, Moo Myung makes a deal with Young Shil in a bid for the throne, and he also enlists Wi Hwa in his scheme. At the palace, Soo Ho witnesses the palace girl poisoning the Queen's tea and gets the news that she knew her tea was poisoned. Jinheung tries to order the Hwarang around, but Moo Myung tells him and the Hwarang they are free to decide who is king. The king becomes a laughing stock among the flower knights. When Jinheung finds out about the poison tea and what his mother sacrificed, he has the palace girl executed and weeps at his mother's sleeve. Later, the king reinstates Wi Hwa as an instructor.

The day of the abdication ceremony, Moo Myung leads the Hwarang in and drops the ruse. They've made their choice, and hail Jinheung as king in front of everyone. Young Shil is accused of treason, and his supporters are threatened. The next day, at the coronation, Jinheung dons the royal attire and pledges to put the people first. The Queen dies, but not before telling Ahn Ji that she loves him. Soo Ho sheds silent tears. Jinheung, in a letter, reveals to Ah Ro that he locked her away to protect her from Young Shil. Free, she runs to Moo Myung for an embrace and a kiss. Ban Ryu and Soo Hyun get back together. Six months later, Moo Myung returns to Silla and briefs Jinheung. The king admits that he regrets only seeing Moo Myung when there's a problem. So, the next day, five friends, including Jinheung and Moo Myung, mount horses and ride down the open road...

I love that expression. He has that "I'm so screwed" look absolutely nailed.

I'll admit: this episode was a total head game. I had no idea that Moo Myung was going to pull that stunt. They adroitly set up the first half of the episode making it seem like he was going to orchestrate a coup. And then he pulls the rug out from under us and endorses Jinheung. It just seemed like everything he did was designed to hurt the king in some way, to challenge his legitimacy. So it does make me wonder -- was this entirely his plan, and did he let Jinheung know about it? That definitely could have been made clearer.

I wish the Queen had lived, but instead, they default to the standard trope -- if you're over the age of 40, you've got one foot in the grave. I was glad that, in the end, she finally got a tiny bit of redemption, but I was hoping for more. I mean, you can write this any way you want, so why not make both her and Soo Ho happy? That the poison wears off, over time, or that Ahn Ji can flush it from her system. Those were the things going through my head. Idle flights of fancy, I know, but one more romance couldn't hurt, right?

"Whenever you're ready. Just toss the M&Ms and I'll try to catch them in my mouth."

Some props were not to my liking. There were a few scenes where things just looked really cheap. Maybe I wasn't supposed to look too close, but when plastic really does look like plastic in a historical drama, then you have some issues. And what was up with that crown that waved in the wind? Seriously? I'm sorry if I'm nitpicky, but I really got into this and wanted the last episode to be a real high point, and it pulls you right out of it when something doesn't fit.

I love the denouement. While the Queen's death left me cold, the friendship that remained, even after traitors were exposed and royalty established was a great feeling. Jinheung and Moo Myung's banter felt warm as always, and to have the other Hwarang still be friendly was one of those fuzzy moments that it's nice to see. I was hoping that they hadn't just forgotten about everyone else, so we got a neat sendoff at the end. Better that than hopeless and bleak.

He's happy his new Harry Potter wand arrived in the mail.

So, was it good? I think so. The plot deserves some serious points since I thought it was going to go one way and it changed directions out of nowhere. But it did so well, with a satisfying resolution. I loved watching Moo Myung hatch plans and then turn the tables on the traitors. Yeah, I bumped up the plot and the pacing. No surprises there.

So that's it. No more episodes for this one, though you can binge watch it if you need to. I might do that myself. Thanks for watching this with me!




SEE ALSO: SHINee's Minho makes a special visit on his own to hang out with Daebak's twin sisters

  1. Minho
  2. Hyungsik
  3. V
  4. Go Ara
  5. V
  6. Park Seo Joon
  7. Seo Ye Ji
  8. hwarang

SarahT1998 Thursday, February 23, 2017

So what happened to minho's character at the end?? why didnt we see him horse riding with the other hwarangs??? lol

SS501SS301 SarahT1998 Sunday, February 26, 2017

My exact same thoughts and question. No offence to Hansung's half-brother (can't remember his name of the top of my head) but he wasn't a part of Hwarang? Minho was? Like why wasn't he there? Why? I'd really love to ask the writers that. And why they forgot to mention what the princess and Sun Woo's illness was. Like after waiting all that time to find out what his illness was, they don't even tell us. My thoughts - they probs forgot.

SarahT1998 SS501SS301 Sunday, February 26, 2017

I didnt really mind having hansungs half brother there..but I just wanna know what happened to minhos character lol.. why wasnt he there -___-

SS501SS301 SarahT1998 Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Same here I mean really like the bro but if I was to be picky, it was always the 6 of them together even in as to why min ho wasn't included in the last scene I guess will forever remain a mystery...

SS501SS301 Thursday, February 23, 2017

I loved the drama but there were a few things I was dissatisfied about....well one of the main things were that they said each character had their own story to tell but they never really focused much on it except for PSJ and PHS characters....and like seriously wth was PSJ's illness?? I mean they kept showing him fainting and whatnot but they never told us what the illness was! That's what I kept waiting to find out and in the end I never did! Like did they forget about it completely or something????

EmieLeeH SS501SS301 Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hi! To answer your question about PSJ's illness, I've been wondering too and I've guessed that it was an hereditary illness within the royal family: do you remember the moment when the princess fainted in front of PSJ? When he told her that it was okay because "he knows how it feels"? Of course, it's my opinion but I kind of feel like it was meant to say that he was part of the princess's family

LovelySerenity SS501SS301 Sunday, February 26, 2017

From what I gathered in the flashbacks, PSJ's illness came from when he was in his mother's womb. Remember how she was a wonhwa? The queen stabbed her and she was dying so I'm assuming this affected PSJ by making him have the illness after he was born

EmieLeeH LovelySerenity Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oh that's logic, you may be right :)

SS501SS301 LovelySerenity Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ohhh okay thanks for explaining! ^_^

SS501SS301 EmieLeeH Sunday, February 26, 2017

But still they should've explained what the illness was for both of them!

LovelySerenity SS501SS301 Sunday, February 26, 2017

Yeah, k-dramas can be confusing sometimes XD

SS501SS301 LovelySerenity Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tell me about it! XD

LovelySerenity SS501SS301 Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I get confused every time and it makes me feel stupid haha

SS501SS301 LovelySerenity Thursday, March 2, 2017

I don't feel stupid I just get very annoyed when something's unclear or not cleared out!

ohjin SS501SS301 Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pretty sure he had narcolepsy. It's not so much fainting but falling asleep. The character specifically displays "Cataplexy: This symptom [of narcolepsy] consists of a sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to feelings of weakness and a loss of voluntary muscle control. It can cause symptoms ranging from slurred speech to total body collapse, depending on the muscles involved, and is often triggered by intense emotions such as surprise, laughter, or anger." Narcolepsy is genetic so it is something the princess could have also had.

SS501SS301 ohjin Monday, April 24, 2017

Oh right okay - thanks for explaining that :)

_bWRECKED Thursday, February 23, 2017

This drama deserves a second season. All of the last scenes such as; the planned attack on Silla, Ah Ro and Moo Myung's marriage, the second book of information, and the adorable beginning to Soo Hyun and Ban Ryu's affair, left some sort of opening to another storyline. I think a second season is in call for.

freysan Wednesday, February 22, 2017

so what happened to Dansae? O_o

nojustno freysan Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I think he becomes a hwarang and by Seonu's side since then? Since Seonu has forgiven him for attempting to kill him

freysan nojustno Wednesday, February 22, 2017

thanks!! now I can sleep well knowing what happened to him.. ^^

nojustno freysan Thursday, February 23, 2017

Don't worry gurl, sweet dreams ^

Satzz Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I LOVEDDD THIS DRAMA!!!!! hopefully they will make another season explaining what happens to soohoo and the princess coz they just disappeared >_>

AshleyDaUnicorn Wednesday, February 22, 2017

So.. I get confused with the names of the characters. Who is Moo Myung again?

AshleyDaUnicorn Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I searched it up on Google and I got both Sun Woo and Kwang Soo.. so did he like not die, or ?

Kawaii8 AshleyDaUnicorn Wednesday, February 22, 2017

the main lead, park seo joon. his real name is moo myung, but when kwang soo dies he takes his identity and becomes kim sun woo

AshleyDaUnicorn Kawaii8 Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Oh.. I have such bad memory.

Kawaii8 Wednesday, February 22, 2017

i know people are gonna dislike my comment, but i really feel like go ah ra was a miscast. the chemistry she had with seon woo was alright but her acting was so mediocre. in most of the scenes she making derp faces... she doesn't have the fact or acting skills for a historical drama. her acting just did not much up to the lead characters. i really feel like gong seung yeon or shin se kyung would've been a better choice. even the girl who played the princess displayed better acting skills and her role was more secondary.

Kawaii8 Wednesday, February 22, 2017

doesn't have the face*

neki Kawaii8 Wednesday, February 22, 2017

100% agree!! Her acting was just so awkward or out of context. I mean, sometimes it would even get to the point of being annoying... Besides, I didn't really felt the chemistry between her and the male lead at all... :(

Kawaii8 neki Wednesday, February 22, 2017

glad to hear someone noticed! i think the show would've for sure hit higher ratings if someone else was selected because the ratings suffered really badly. i was being nice about the chemistry part because those were the only scenes of hers i was looking forward to since she's sharing the screen with someone else.

neki Kawaii8 Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Yup. But not just Ara, the script itself was a little bit... hmm, confusing and it was like all over the place, most of the times... like the way they would switch from a sad song to a happy one in a matter of seconds 5 times per episode or how some parts just wouldn't connect idk... I guess the director could've done a better job... it was too cliche (for example, when they killed the weakest and sweetest character, which happens in a lots of koreans dramas). They could've innovated a bit. I kind of grew bored around the end and once they killed Tae, watching it felt more like a obligation. Although a few characters like Banryu and Sooyeon kept me from abandoning it. Btw, I sincerely hope next time (if there's going to be one) Tae would land himself a better drama and shine a little bit more.

bibi87 Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I only watched this drama for Jidwi/Jinheung. And for the hwarang bond. The main couple's struggling and Sunwoo's ambitions for the throne was boring and as the drama went by I started to dislike them and don't care about them. There were so much more potential in this drama, but they make it boring and had many calculable parts, like the die of the cute and innocent character (Hansung), they usually do it in every drama. Also, the drama's title is "Hwarang", but this drama was about anything but the hwarang's life. It was more like a romantic nonsense with this fake sibling stuff. I wanted to see and know more about the hwarang's life (Sooho, Banryu, Hansung, Yeowool..) and about Sammaekjong/Jinheung's inner fight, but I got nothing like that. A title like "Struggles of a low birth guy who is in love" would fit the drama more. :D

The End



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