DRAMA CLUB: The King's Face Episode 23 Recap
More more things change, the more things stay the same. Join Firnlambe, Wendilynn, Aunnie, and Taleena as we discuss the fates of all the characters, the series as a whole, and really just how many times Star Wars cropped up in a historical drama, with The King’s Face episode 23.
Watch the finale:
Taleena: Well ladies what did you think of the final episode? Was it suitably epic for you?
Wendilynn: I really liked the last episode. Which makes me happy because for most of the series I just could not figure out where they were going or what they were trying to do. I think that’s why I had a problem really getting into it. I couldn’t see the relevance of many of the episodes. But they tied everything together from the first episode through the last and I was finally able to “get it”.
Aunnie: Besides the fact that its finally over, this episode wasn't bad. I'm glad some characters stayed true to themselves while others became mute and couldn't do any more damage.
Taleena: So, 23 episodes to get to: “Hooray for flat taxes!” was OK for you then?
Wendilynn: LOL!! Naive Kingly pronouncements aside, I finally understood why he was being deposed, what was put in place to save his butt and keep him the Crown Prince so he could be King, AND more importantly, why things would be set up for his troubles later down the road.
Firnlambe: Quite honestly . . . this episode (aside from key scenes) was sort of a letdown for me. Not nearly enough epicness to go around, even if things got wrapped up in a nice pretty little package.
Aunnie: I'm just happy certain people died. Vicious I know . . .
Taleena: Let’s talk about some specific outcomes. I REALLY wanted Ga Hee to actually die. That sounds mean, but she wanted it so much. Watching her drink the tea I was like “Yes!” but then when he talked to her in the end I was like: “BOO!”
Aunnie: I was actually very disappointed she didn't die. When she collapsed, it almost made me faint in relief but then it was hinted that she was still alive and all i could think was "Awww hell" but her being mute and secluding herself to a monastery is almost like death so i was okay in the end.
Firnlambe: Oh gosh me too . . . I was so sad that she didn’t bite the dust, and was only left to be a mute for the rest of her sad martyr epic fail life.
Wendilynn: I didn’t really see her as a martyr like you guys did, but as soon as she talked about being willing to follow the King, I realized how much you guys had nailed her character. She really would have loved to die for the cause — proving her love for Gwanghae to the end. (forgive me, I’m going to go throw up now)
Aunnie: Or, in my opinion, proving her usefulness had dried up.
Taleena: The Love Rock made it’s appearance, and ONCE again Herbalicious proved herself to be the quickest on the uptake. Gwanghae is lucky she married him. Can you imagine Ga Hee as the Queen? *shudders*
Firnlambe: If she was rightfully the Queen right off the bat I don’t think she would be all that bad.
Aunnie: I do. She, unlike Gwanghae (for the most part) had such severe tunnel vision whereas, even though the crown princess was rightfully jealous, she got sh*t done and accomplished — even if that meant using her enemy.
Wendilynn: Please no. He has the right woman for the Queen. Speaking of Queens, the little witch really didn’t understand her position there at the end, did she? Once the King was dead she really had no power.
Taleena: If she had spent time at court currying her own favor rather than just using Psycho’s network she would have had a chance. As it was, Greedy Concubine giving her the smackdown was schadenfreude-ishly delicious. Like Lucky Charms.
Aunnie: I hate when this happens but love that it was so tactfully done: Turning a hated character into a badass at the end. She went back to her wicked ways and stayed true to form but somehow it made me feel all warm inside to see her doing her evil smirk.
Wendilynn: That was a great scene. Even though we don’t like Greedy Concubine, we liked the little witch even less and so to see those two go at it, was awesome.
Firnlambe: I think the scene where Gwanghae subtly put her in her place was much better than Greedy Concubine’s smackdown.
Taleena: Still, Greedy Concubine is gonna be greedy: as the final scene between her and Fourth Spawn showed. It will not be long before Herbalicious will have to out maneuver those two. I’d say Gwanghae, but we all know what he is like.
Wendilynn: He loves his family, even though every single one of them would happily stab him in the back.
Aunnie: Maybe I missed it but what the hell ever happened to Imhae?
Taleena: Dumb, dumb, dumb Beefy McHotstuff falling for Psycho’s blandishments, Imhae was left cooling his heels at the Kim Do Chi's Sith Dude Ranch....but moving on: Can we talk about the Long Awaited Yet Barely Satisfying sword fight between Psycho and Gwanghae?
Firnlambe: Don’t you mean the Joseon Lightsaber battle?
Firnlambe: I honestly had the "Duel of Fates" track playing as their background music in my little nerf herder brain.
Wendilynn: I don’t know, I liked that sword fight. It didn’t last long, but it was a satisfying wrap up to their conversation in the throne room. I’m actually glad that Psycho got to sit on the throne once - just to accent how unsuitable he was for it.
Aunnie: Yeah . . . it started off cool but really ended way too quickly. It wasnt nearly as breathtaking as I had anticipated. maybe because they waited too long to have it? i'unno.
Taleena: The irreverent corner of my mind wanted him to bounce a little bit and remark on how comfy the cushions were.
Firnlambe: Oh please tell me he's also shouting "It's so Fluffy!" at Gwanghae . . .
Taleena: BUT the fight was too short. I wanted it to last longer. As it was, Psycho’s self disemboweling scene lasted as long as the fight.
Firnlambe: That was just a disappointment really . . . I mean lets be honest here.
Aunnie: I agree. He really should have been beheaded in public so Gwanghae could illustrate what happened to legitimate traitors.
Wendilynn: I realize that he killed himself to rob Gwanghae of the pleasure of making an example of him. But when I see those scenes, I always wonder if the Kings say those things just so the enemy will kill themselves quickly so they stop being a bother. lol
Taleena: Can I just say, it didn’t take long before Gwanghae started having hallucinations and bad dreams?
Firnlambe: Yes . . . but you know it’s only because we’ve got to keep the crazy from Nightwatchman’s Journal alive.
Wendilynn: I know Aunnie can join me on this one, but I loved that Dad made a visit. To give his son his final advice on just how lonely the throne is, and how the ONLY thing he can rely on is himself. That moved me a lot.
Aunnie: Okay, I hated the King. I will not now begin to sympathize for the king BUT I did cry at that scene. To me, it was closure for his character in the sense that he (as i understood the scene) was admitting his faults and telling his son, like Wendilynn said, that the throne is lonely. Beyond that, I think it was a moment, real or hallucination, that Gwanghae needed to have "with his father" to assuage any guilt he had at how he won the throne so he could go on to be a good, sage king.
Taleena: Yup, that whole flower on the cliff thing was the whole Henry V “upon the King” bit. Or actually the Henry V King’s speech about “ceremony”. That was really illustrated here and I KIND of forgave Gwanghae turning down the throne last episode because of the last conversation with Kim Do Chi. (Side Note: I totally expected everyone to turn their heads and spit every time they said Psycho’s name.)
Wendilynn: LOL Taleena.
Taleena: Do it. It’s fun: “KIM Do CHI” *spit*
Wendilynn: Something else I really loved was the speech about how the people decide the King’s face speech that Gwanghae gave the King right before he died. How he had finally figured out how it works and then in his final scene with Pretty in Pink he advises him to never let him forget that fact. That scene was interesting on several levels. The adoration on the Spy’s face for Gwanghae was a little disturbing. I’m half convinced that it was a love scene… just sayin.
Taleena: Just ‘cause he is inappropriately touchy feely...
Wendilynn: Touchy feely nothing. Watch the eyes, man. That boy was in love with Gwanghae.
Taleena: He totally grabs Gwanghae’s arm in a cuddle! Actually, I think he was in love with Ga Hee, and grooved on the tragicness of Ga Hee and Gwanghae’s lurrrvvve.
Aunnie: Was it just me or did Pretty in Pink win over Eunuch Im — and was HE not totally flirtatious with Im as well?? Just sayin'
Taleena: Didn't Pretty in Pink win all our hearts?
OK Pop Culture fans we have counted 42 separate references, surprisingly they were not all Star Wars. Sadly, Taleena never did get her Photoshop of Gwanghae on a unicorn. The dream lives on. What did YOU think of The King's Face?
For More from The King’s Face Drama Club check out:
For previous The King’s Face episode recaps:
[Episode 21] [Episode 22] [Episode 23]