Great news guys! Moonlight said “No way Jose” (or the Korean equivalent thereof) to an extension. Not that the show isn’t good, and not that I couldn’t watch more and more and more episodes of Park Bo Gum, but this late in the game I worried about how seamlessly they could do it. We’re officially in the home stretch, our couple is still together, evil schemes keep being evil, and more people are figuring out just who our heroine is. Could the net be closing in??
Stephanie: So, lots of little moments in this set of episodes. Can I get one thing off my chest, though? Sometimes the ‘coincidences’ in Kdrama irritate me. I think I may have strained myself with the strength of my eyeroll when his teacher confidant was her ‘grandfather’. Grrrr….
Leila: Yeah… Accompanied by the silly big eyes, circling, and finger pointing. There should have been slightly more horror at the circumstances in my opinion. But I was slightly surprised that he ended up being the grandfather, since I was starting to think it might be Head Eunuch/Rebel Leader. I’m curious why he’s considered her “grandfather”, maybe just a translation of an endearment? That character is still odd and full of holes for me. But I really admire the actor. I enjoyed watching him on screen.
Stephanie: Yeah, I’m thinking it’s more of an honorary title than an actual relation. No, I do like the actor too, and think that he’s kind of like Ra On for the hero, a sounding board who is connected with the people. But I am concerned that this person who was on the Prince’s side was all like “Nope, nope, awww hellz no” when the Prince told him it was Ra On he wanted to be with.
Leila: I mean, the Teacher-Grandfather guy had a point. He knows things the Prince doesn’t and the Prince and Ra On’s relationship is full of dangerous complications. I’m glad we’re finally seeing some of the seeds of plot that were planted earlier start to grow in these episodes. We find out Ra On’s mother is alive and nearby and already against their relationship all in one fell swoop!
Stephanie: Ugh. 1) I was a little surprised when Mommy Dearest was alive. 2) I do like that she said to the Head Eunuch, “Just leave us alone, haven’t you destroyed our lives enough?” and 3) It irritated the bejeezus out of me when she and ‘Grandfather’ have a sit down about Ra On’s future. Umm…she has managed to survive all these years just fine without you. Maybe she should be in on this little summit?
Leila: I know! She’s not a little girl anymore, even though that’s the way you remember her. I am irritated by the way it takes till alllll the way at the end for her to find out, by accident, who her father is. There should have been a lot more information sharing up front.
The Head Eunuch is straddling the line of Good Guy/Bad Guy for me. We’re pretty sure they want to use her as a rallying flag for the rebellion, but he’s also kept her safe, and has been kind, and does have a point about the awfulness of the King and the regime…
Stephanie: Yeah, but why did he keep her safe? The Queen finds out she’s a woman, with woman parts, she’s dead. That’s not going to do anything for his revolution. You know what I kind of want to know–does Head Eunuch have anything to do with the King and his not so slow decent into madness? I feel like he’s there, lurking, nudging him along. What was that movie, Gaslight? Is he Gaslighting the King?
Leila: I don’t *think* so? Based almost entirely on the fact that we’ve not seen him plot with the ministers and because he says that thing about, “I had hope with each of the Kings, but this whole family has disappointed me.”
Oh my god. Those ministers and the plots these episodes! Framing children, faux poisoning the King… what else I’m forgetting? They really got around in this episode…
Stephanie: Well, no, I don’t think he’s working with the ministers as they are looking to replace the King with another king, the Head Eunuch is looking to replace the system. Same battle (remove the king) different war, (who gets to rule after). I have to say, I got a little bored with the machinations, but that’s a regular complaint. And are we really still heading towards a royal wedding? And why is the bad guy pushing it? I feel like he’s now going to use the family with the girl as a further pawn, frame them for something, you know, ‘if I can’t have her (for his grandson), no one can.’
Leila: Is it her, the Minister of Rites daughter, that he has in mind for the Prince? I thought the way he spoke that he had somebody else in mind… One of the Kim clan’s daughters. I admit it was all a little confusing. Poor girl. I still don’t love her, but I like her brass. The way she came right out and asked the Prince if it was something she did. Kind of sweet and self-aware. I expected a follow up scene though, with her plotting to find out who the Prince’s Love is and have her fall from her horse, or something.
Stephanie: Yeah, and I like that he was straight with her, “I love someone else.” It does make me afraid that they are making her so relatable, like they will actually end up together. No, she is not heinous, but that’s not reason enough to be okay if our main couple doesn’t end up together in the end. I love that we have our hero who is still so willing to do what he can to be with Ra On. I was a little afraid he’d cave after that chat with his dad. I think if anyone can make it through this, it’s going to be him. Despite the hesitancy of the heroine. That is the one good side of the hero getting attacked, I think it finally made her realize what he meant to her, and that it wasn’t going to be easy to walk away. Does this mean she’s going to start fighting for them at least half as hard as he is? Well, I certainly hope so.
Leila: I love your optimism for a happy ending against all Sageuk odds. I had a moment too, where I thought he was going to cave to his father’s demands to marry the Court’s choice for him as well. Nothing more was said about it, so I’m assuming quiet resistance on the Prince’s part at this point. The fight scene and the Prince getting stabbed multiple times! My stomach dropped when that happened. I had a bunch of things going on in my head. “Oh my god! Nooo!” “I wasn’t expecting him to die so soon!” But then the next day everyone was all “Eh, no big deal… Just a sword through a couple minor organs. He’ll be up in a day or two.” Kinda made me annoyed. It was a completely awesome fight scene though.
Stephanie: LAUGH. At this point in the show, I realized you were a few seconds ahead of me, as you totally reacted to the stabbing before I did. Yeah, he was stabbed a lot. I’m guessing more time passed than what was shown on the screen. Although, really at this point, I feel like the Queen has the gestation period of an elephant. The fight scene was so freaking cool! We got to see our guy fighting a little bit before, but you could totally tell Park Bo Gum was practicing for this. And Jinyoung? HOLY SMOKES. He went from ‘oh hey, it’s Jinyoung’ to mother flippin’ badass. I love the fact that he was the one who came to the Prince’s aid. I want to think that this is a step closer to them becoming friends again, but I’m sure he really did it to protect R….wait a minute! Never mind. When he went back in there, he couldn’t have known she had been kidnapped! He did go back there for the Prince. Added bonus for him that he got to help save her. Viva la bromance!
Leila: Oh! Good point! I assumed he had ridden in to save Ra On, but you’re right! And when he grabbed the bad guy’s sword and twisted it away from the Prince? Wow, just wow. They should keep Jinyoung in those dark colors with his serious “dont mess with me” face on all the time. It was pretty swoony. But then we didn’t get any scenes after that showing the Prince being grateful. That bothered me. We did get that one little scene with Jinyoung holding a paintbrush over a piece of paper. I wasn’t sure what that was supposed to indicate – either his hand was so injured he can’t paint anymore, or that he can’t/won’t paint Ra On? But, back to the fight scene and bromance… When the Prince thought it was Hyung Kim? That broke my heart.
Stephanie: Oooh… I didn’t see the post-fight Jinyoung scene! Did he remember his love for the Prince? Did he feel bad that he almost died and decided to stop trying to steal his girl? Did he finally realize her and the Prince’s connection and accept the fact that he was nothing more than a B-lead? (A B-lead in this particular story.) I’m hoping it’s a little bit of all of these things. I want these three friends to be together once again. That the three of them, plus Ra On, are going to be the ones who mend things. Gah, yes, we knew the person who stabbed the Prince wasn’t Hyung Kim because he didn’t actually look anything like him, but the fact that the Prince has traveled down the doubtful path so far that in this moment of stress he thinks it’s the one person on his side? Noooo! We now realize Hyung Kim had been placed there by the Head Eunuch/Rebel Leader (still more reminders of the movie The King’s Face) but I hope ultimately he chooses to become a true member of Team Prince.
Leila: It’s one of my regrets about this story, that they’ve given very little attention to the bromance. The details about their early friendship and what went wrong are super sketchy. I’d almost rather it not be there if they’re not going to fully flesh it out. But, I do enjoy we’re getting more of Hyung Kim’s pretty eyes looking soulfully at whoever he’s in the scene with.
Rebel Leader: You’re a spy!
Hyung Kim: <Looks stoically pretty>
Prince: I can trust you, right?
Hyung Kim: <Looks stoically pretty>d
Stephanie: Hahaha! I’m guessing this is one of those storylines that are going to get fleshed out more as the story goes along. Now that we see them get closer together, we’re going to learn about what happened and they are going to have to deal with what drove them apart (My guess it’s Grandpa dearest). Most of the plot’s ills can be laid at his feet. Wait! I forgot to mention. Jinyoung straight up murdering that guy? Well, that was cool. AND I have to sneer at Team Bad because, dude, they are like the last ones to find out who she is. Apparently, this is the easiest information to get, there is no reason for them, with all of their resources, to be so far behind the curve. Although, I’m guessing they are busy being more concerned with their own schemes so the old rebellion wasn’t too far up their list of things to think about.
Leila: Oh right! I’m glad you mentioned that scene with Jinyoung! I think we were supposed to be bothered, but I was all, “Good! Somebody is actually getting shit done.” There needs to be more pragmatists in this story. So much could be solved by a few good beheadings. Like that weasel of a minister that gets caught taking bribes? He’s still around, and now that he’s been caught and will be fired (what’s taking so long?), he’s really going to cause trouble. I did like the Prince being ahead of the bad guys again. And we got several scenes of him being a good, thoughtful, future king. It was nice.
Stephanie: We got to see him being a good king–with the help of those around him. And we’ve also seen him be the best boyfriend ever. And we’ve seen him be adorable AF. If this heroine doesn’t want him, I will take him.
Leila: So many cute scenes with them staring into each other’s eyes! And poor Jinyoung, having to watch. And poor Hyung Kim, having to watch. Heck, everybody has to watch. They are really not discrete. But it does make your heart melt. I think that last scene where Ra On chooses to go back to the Prince is what you were looking for. Her commitment to trying to make it work.
Stephanie: It had better be.