The Crown Prince is finally ready to make his final moves and reclaim his thrown. The death of Hwa Goon has forced Dae Mok to destroy all that should have been important to him and now his crumbling power is all he has left. Lee Seon’s desperation to keep Ga Eun has finally snapped his mind and he may never make it back. Can the Crown Prince reclaim his throne before everyone dies and there is nothing left to save? Join Tiara, Firnlambe and me, Wendilynn, as we deal with the shock of the last episodes and say goodbye to these characters in Ruler: Master of the Mask.

Tiara: The showdown between the Crown Prince and the fake was actually entertaining. Each side trying to prove their choice was the rightful King. I love the stories of the young Crown Prince pranking the ministers. I laughed at the comparing scars and beauty marks between the two.

Firnlambe: That was probably the most stressful 20-something minutes of my K-drama life. I knew it would all work out in the end, but damn Ga Eun and her inability to see the pot. It was oh so glaringly obvious, that the fact that it took her so long to see the dark pot behind a slew of white pots made me stressed…..well that and the fact that she took her sweet time outside of the greenhouse. Like what was she doing? Catching her breath? It wasn’t like she was running while she was searching for the damn pot. TIME WAS OF THE ESSENCE!!! You don't just dawdle when your lover’s life was potentially on the line.

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Wendilynn: I really enjoyed the showdown. I figured the queen would support the Crown Prince because they had finally made peace with each other, so I wasn’t surprised by her. I also thought that Ga Eun wasn’t going quickly enough, but I would have totally overlooked the dark pot sitting in the shadows under a shelf and behind everything else. It was well hidden to be overlooked. What broke my heart was watching Lee Seon slowly lose his touch on reality as desperation went into overdrive. I don’t blame him at all, and he’s been my favorite character this whole show. But watching him come unglued, including being willing to take that poison to prove a condition he didn’t have, was heartbreaking for me.

Tiara: Ga Eun did find her jar of dirt, but I’m disappointed we didn’t get to see more of Mae Chang’s bada** moves. The Dowager Queen sided with the Crown Prince as I expected. I didn’t think Lee Seon had anything to use to sway her to his side. The growing insanity of Lee Seon is his downfall, but I still wished for most of his motives to have been better. Not to mention, he was so blinded he couldn’t see the hurt in Ga Eun’s face. For someone who was trying to be a real King for the sake of a girl, he was oblivious to his actions. I agree with Firnlambe about the tension of the first half of the episode. It makes me sad the rest of the drama couldn’t live up to these 20 minutes.

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Firnlambe: My feelings toward Lee Seon were all over the damn place this week. Particularly at the end of the series. In regards to the rest of the episodes not living up to the tension present during the first 20 minutes….when you have key characters taking the coward’s way out instead of putting up a fight, it really takes the wind out of a show’s sails. Seriously. Dae Mok disappointed me on so many different levels. He had such a prime opportunity to own up to his mistakes and try to make a difference in his own existence moving forward. The fact that he didn’t want to face his wrongs and instead chose to take his own life was sad. Totally not unexpected, but sad all the same.

Wendilynn: He had nothing left by the end. The prince really took it all. Hwa Goon started it, but the Prince finished it. I wish this drama had not tied Dae Mok’s “hands” as the bad guy, but I suppose we would not have had Lee Seon’s descent into madness otherwise. And without Hwa Goon’s sacrifice, our Prince might never have gotten over the shock of what his father did. So one can argue it all had a point. I was intrigued by the fact that our Prince was willing to save everyone’s lives. I’m not sure I’d have been so magnanimous. There were a few who certainly deserved to die but, I appreciated that our Prince wanted to honor the people he served. His time among the lowest of the low really helped him to see everyone as human, not just some euphemistic “my people” that he couldn’t understand.

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Tiara: Dae Mok could have been an interesting villain, but was underused for sure. There were great scenes to show how clever and smart he was, but he was overshadowed by the drama forgetting they had a villain at times. Lee Seon thinking the Crown Prince was out to kill him with the antidote was brilliant. It’s a shame he couldn’t figure out by the time the King let him go and gave him the antidote that he was played back then. I wasn’t surprised the drama killed him in the end as it felt more like a mercy kill. He was too far gone in his delusions, but he finally got to protect Ga Eun and it didn’t feel wrong or uncomfortable.

Firnlambe: I was just happy Lee Seon was able to figure out he was played at all. I was worried that he would move on with his life without ever realizing the truth. I was a bit annoyed he didn’t go to his teacher straight away when he realized his guard was a shady backstabber. If I had been in his shoes I wouldn’t have tried to find the “family” to confirm my suspicions...but regardless. As much as I hated Lee Seon at the end of the show I never wanted him to die. I was so happy when the Crown Prince stopped him from taking the poisoned tea that for him to die anyway was extremely sad to me. Regardless of if he was able to save Ga Eun in the process.

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Wendilynn: I knew the show would kill him before we got to these last episodes so I was sort of resigned to that fact, but I hated it with a passion. Lee Seon deserved so much better than to be trapped in a nightmare, be convinced that the only hope for safety was trying to kill him and then to have him go mad in all the hopelessness. His death scene was pretty darn good, though. I cried when he expressed the simple love he had for Ga Eun simply because she saw him as more than dirt. Yes, he got greedy blah blah blah, doesn’t matter. He deserved better and L did a fantastic job in this role and I’ll be watching out for him in the future.

Tiara: Lots of characters deserved better in this drama. My pet peeve for the last bit of conflict after the King saved the day was annoying. Ga Eun couldn’t be the King’s Queen. Oh come on now. She saved all the Minister’s life by showing them the antidote was the real deal. Side note, I loved Hwa Goon’s dad finally listening to Gon and helping out the King as was her last promise. Heck, I love that Gon stayed with the King after.

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Firnlambe: Gon turned out to be one of my favorite side characters. I was also happy to see him staying with the King during the time jump. For as frustrating as the show could be, I really enjoyed every moment of it. To me it was a pretty solid drama over all. It may have taken the writers a while to address them all, but to the best of my knowledge there weren’t any loose plot points still hanging at the end of the show. Which is always a potential problem with these period dramas. Something used in the beginning always gets forgotten by the end. I was happy to see that was not the case with this show.

Wendilynn: Gon was a pretty decent character for sure. In many ways, he and Lee Seon were the same, or at least came from similar backgrounds. But Gon had a way to make a difference where Lee Seon simply didn’t. Gon could have totally gone rogue once Hwa Goon died, but he loved her enough to honor her love instead. That was amazing.

Tiara: I too love Gon. He’s character really shined in this drama towards the later half and it’s hard not to love his devotion for Hwa Goon who only loved the Crown Prince. Overall, the drama was beautiful looking but lacked focus on the plot. The actors were amazing with what little was given to them. There was lots of promise but sadly it failed the execution. However, I’m glad I still watched the drama as I found new respect for the actors. I can’t wait to see them in different projects after a nice short break. 

COMING SOON

Ruler: Master of the Mask

Starring Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun

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That is everything for this drama.  What did you think of the ending?  Did your favorite character get the ending they deserved?  Tell us in the comments below and we'll see you on the next drama club. 


For more from the Ruler: Master of the Mask Drama Club check out:

Firnlambe: Soju-Like-Kdramas | @firnlambe | Facebook | My Secret Romance | Past Drama Clubs

Tiara: Aja-Villa.tumblr | Aja-Villa.blog | Chingus In Dramaland | Twitter: @ajavillablog | Instagram: @ajavillablog | Past Drama Clubs |

Wendilynn: As the Kimchi Turns | DF video drama club | My Secret Romance | Past Drama Clubs

Catch the recaps from previous weeks here:

[Week 1] [Week 2] [Week 3]

[Week 4] [Week 5] [Week 6]

[Week 7] [Week 8] [Week 9]

[Week 10]