This week we saw Team Evil elected a new Chief, but trust issues still run rampant. While Team Crown Prince once again fails to communicate and ends up losing a member to the palace. Meanwhile, Dowager Queen gains a win with her new spy and knowledge about the Puppet King sitting on the throne. Come join Wendilynn, Firnlambe, and I, Tiara, as we discuss the happenings this week.

Wendilynn: I think Lee Seon is going to break my heart. And I don’t even know if I can blame him. There are so many people out to kill him. And he is NOT at fault. But if he tries to lay claim to Ga Eun, I don’t know if we’ll be able to save him.

Tiara: I hate to say that I called this about Lee Seon, and I can’t say I happy about being right. I was so on his side as he was a prisoner in a golden cage, but his demand to make Ga Eun his concubine, he’s kind of dead to me. I’m not a fan of the drama turning the second leads into jealous characters. Lee Seon needs to take his teacher's advice about becoming his own master before trying to be a master.

Firnlambe: Waitwaitwaitwait before we pass final judgement he hasn’t done anything to try and keep the throne. So...he has that at least? //sigh// ok fine--he is most likely a lost cause for the rest of the drama, but dammit I’m placing full blame on his trusty guard. That man was so totally /NOT/ helping Lee Seon make the right decision regarding his current power. God, the more I think about it, the more I hate when a love triangle turns into a love square. Not only do we have Lee Seon making subtle //cough// notsosubtle //cough// moves on Ga Eun….we have Hwa Goon making massive power plays that will probably prove detrimental to Our Crown Prince’s plans.

Wendilynn: I’m still not sure what to make of Hwa Goon’s choices. I get that she wants to keep the Crown Prince alive. I get that she wants to give him something that will make him choose her and I have to admit, handing over the Pyunsoo Hwe leadership if she claims it, would be quite the prize, but still… I don’t see anything but corruption for her. And her grandfather is too crafty to be fooled by her.

Firnlambe: I can’t trust Hwa Goon as far as I can emotionally chuck her across all of Drama Joseon….but if I had to say one person who has her loyalty it would be Goon. Goon is the only one to truly have her loyalty as he is the only one to have not “betrayed” her at this point.

Tiara: Haha … I’m in love with devious Gramps. He got a lot trust issues. I mean he doesn’t have faith in his own family. It’s good to know we’re in the same boat as Gramps towards Hwa Goon’s true intentions. Firnlambe, you’re completely right about Goon. Maybe the one who truly loves her is the deadly assassin next to her. Speaking of Hwa Goon, she’s smart with a frightening amount of capability, but I just want them to decide who has her loyalty. Is it the darkside or will she end up playing both sides?

Wendilynn: Sadly, that’s up for grabs. Right now she is loyal to our Crown Prince but she still considers him attainable. Once Ga Eun is made king's consort, that will be put in jeopardy. Right now, Ga Eun has no way to lay claim to the real Crown Prince, but if she clears her father’s name and then gets that new position? Oh yeah… we’re in trouble. 

 Tiara: Ga Eun entering the palace was a more natural separation for the leads as this is her way of contributing to the fight against Pyunsoo Hwa. However I just wished people would confide in each other on Team Crown Prince. Once again, he’s failed to tell her anything. Maybe if he’d stop staring at her, he could pull on his big boy panties and as the genie said in Aladdin “Tell her the Truth!” For someone who says he loves her you would think they would want to confide in each other. I mean even Ga Eun didn’t tell the group about her suspicions of Mae Chang.

Firnlambe: //insert Minion voice here// Whaaaaaat?!? Communication?! Clearly you ask too much of our characters. Personally I have mixed feelings in regards to Ga Eun entering the palace. On one hand she could prove to be a vital component in getting shit done from the inside, but the logical side of me is going; “The Big Bad Wolf won't let her simply do as she pleases”. I think this situation is more dangerous than everyone is expecting it to be.

Wendilynn: Communication would be a good start. I’m not for following the gung ho General and beheading everyone because you know he’d kill Seon without thought. He’s not even willing to understand the undercurrent of everything that is happening. I just want Ga Eun to get up to speed and find out that her childhood friend is trapped on the throne.

Tiara: The General’s idea is an easy way out for sure, but it’s not going to solve the problem. Teacher is right this situation is going to take years to solve. Pyunsoo Hwa has grown deep roots which will need to be pulled out not hacked. I too hope Ga Eun figures things out because no one is planning on telling her anything unless you’re the Dowager Queen. Lee Seon could tell her, but instead he plans on hiding this information from her too. He’s no better than the Crown Prince in that department. I am glad the Dowager Queen has learned her suspicions about the King were true. She now knows the King is a fake and she’s got to assume the true King is still alive. I’m curious how the Dowager Queen plans to proceeds. Does she plan to depose the current King?

Firnlambe: Did the General tell her though that the real Crown Prince was alive? I thought he simply stated that the current King is a sham. With how many wandering ears there are within the palace I really hope he hadn’t said anything. I feel like it won’t do anyone any favors if the Dowager Queen knows who the Merchant Boss really is at this point.

Wendilynn: She never liked the Crown Prince even when he was in the palace because he was never her child. So I don’t consider her a real ally. I think she’d turn on him. And now she has concrete proof that she can use to get rid of Seon. Which I don’t like. I think that’s pushing Seon into a corner, eventually. I was surprised to learn about the Head Eunuch being our hidden leader behind Mae Chang. THAT really surprised me. And how they had no trust of anyone. They liked the idea of a 3 way power struggle so no one got too powerful. We are learning who all the pieces are and I don’t know if we can safely navigate ourselves through this quagmire of threats.

Tiara: I never saw the Dowager Queen’s actions towards the Crown Prince as malicious. She had her own power base sure, but she never came across as someone who didn’t like the Crown Prince. I think she was frustrated over both the King’s decisions were always in favor of the Pyunsoo Hwa, but I felt she was always trying to protect Lee Seon as King and the throne. I agree with you Wendilynn about the Head Eunuch. I didn’t see that coming. He’s not on Pyunsoo Hwa, the Dowager Queen, nor the Crown Prince team, so what is his endgame? Finding out Mae Chang was a child who worked the poisonous field is interesting. It means there is a cure for the poison, right?

Firnlambe: Of course there is a cure. It was already administered to the Crown Prince when he was born….wasn't it? And if that really is the case. Who has been sitting on it all this time. If it’s Pyunsoo Hwa how had the head Eunuch secured enough to save Mae Chang as a child.

Wendilynn: There has to be a cure. Although, it doesn’t seem like Woo Bo knows what it is. Or if he does, if he’s also part of this undercover group, nobody is talking. Yang was too far gone to save. And there might have been something discovered when they were saving the Crown Prince when he was a baby. Too many questions.

Tiara: I’d wonder why Woo Bo not recognizing the poison if this was in fact the same one used on the Crown Prince. I’m surprised Gramps just didn’t have the Crown Prince poisoned instead of sending assassins after him as the pack boss. I mean we haven’t seen the Crown Prince use his superpowers of being immune to poison yet. But back to Yang, dude I cried like a baby during these scenes with Mae Chang. I feel the drama still haven’t found it’s footing, but the highs of the drama just are darn emotional with feelings.

Firnlambe: My heart broke for Yang’s mother. I couldn’t imagine rushing to see your child only to be too late.

Wendilynn: The drama is still showing all its cards. I think the general and everyone knowing the King is fake is our turning point. I just want our Crown Prince to to not be reckless. I want Lee Seon to stay true and not lose his heart to fear and greed. I want Ga Eun to save her friend and I want the Heavens to start pulling all these allies together so the Crown prince can get rid of the Pyunsoo Hwa. I’m not asking for too much, am I? :P

Tiara: I don’t think you’re asking for enough ^_* The drama is at it’s halfway point which means there is more story to tell. I too hope for all you asked for and more. Honesty, I’ve become frustrated with the drama. There’s a lot of character flaws and the plot just keeps jumping all around and not in a good way. Now don’t get me wrong, there are moments I love about the show, like Wiggle and Lee Seon reunioning. That scene had me in tears getting me all emotionally attached one moment and then wanting throw something at my screen the next. The drama is starting to feel cliche. There are things in Ruler that has been done before and better in other dramas. My fingers are crossed with 20 more episodes for the drama to surprise me, but I’m starting to think I should leave my hope at the door to be able to enjoy it without being irritated with with ifs or could have beens.

Firnlambe: I’m glad I don't have whatever frustrations you are experiencing yet. I’m still fully on board with how everything is panning out thus far. If I had to choose one thing to be frustrated on it’s our typical lack of decent communication, but that’s such a drama standard I’ve come to terms that every drama I watch for the rest of time will have our main leads running around each other in unnecessary circles.

Wendilynn: I’m not looking for the next better best thing from my dramas. I”m looking for a well told story with characters I love to talk about and journey with and I feel we get that with this drama. I don’t consider the plot jumping around. I feel like these characters are staying true to form while dealing with a crazy situation. If we can keep Lee Seon from getting beheaded, I’ll be happy. Karma owes that boy big time.

Tiara: But the plot and characters aren’t good as they seem to be fighting against each other instead of working together. If only the drama would see the enthralling set up of conflicts the drama had from the beginning because the drama has the ability to be really good if it wasn’t wasting it’s potential. Look at Lee Seon. He’s gone from an intriguing character due to his situation into the path of a jealous second lead. With this change, I think a beheading is in his future. I’m all for Lee Seon turning to darkside as it would be an provocative turn for his character. If they want him to evil I want his embrace the evil with meaning and not over a girl. I want him to want to be greedy for himself and for the power he never had as a slave. I just don’t accept this turn of events for his character. It’s just weak and cliche. Also can we retire the jealous second lead trope already?

Firnlambe: I would prefer a strong united front with an equally strong bromance line over Lee Seon turning towards the Darkside. I mean yeah it would mix things up a lot and give us more material to work with, but I really loved the friendship that had started to develop before it all went to shit.

Wendilynn: Seriously.. However, Lee Seon is still a slave. In the worst possible way. I can’t blame him wanting just a measure of happiness and hope. Ga Eun is his ray of light in a bleak world where everyone will kill him if they don’t get their way. Can you really blame the guy? And now he knows for a fact that the Pyunsoo Hwe know who his family is. I figure they always did, but now they have even more to hold over him.

Tiara: Yes, I can blame him. I too wanted him to have happiness and hope, but not with the direction his character is heading. Lee Seon made the choice to continue to be a puppet King so he wouldn’t be hungry and to survive. This was the reason he agreed to become the stand-in for the Crown Prince. He didn’t want to be hungry. He wasn’t think about his family. He was thinking about himself. I’m not saying that is a bad thing just the facts. Sure, Lee Seon has had a crush on Ga Eun probably since forever but that doesn’t mean Ga Eun has returned those feelings or knows about them. If Lee Seon were to tell Ga Eun the truth about his situation being King, now that’s a different story as he’s treating her as an equal to make a choice. However, Lee Seon is in a position now he can force Ga Eun and it just makes me uncomfortable.

Firnlambe: ^ This. I have no more to add. Tiara expressed my own thought about Lee Seon’s current situation with Ga Eun perfectly.

Wendilynn: Yeah, things can go bad. And as we watch Seon lose himself, we are watching the Crown Prince find himself. He’s been hiding who he was for 5 years, but now he’s gathering his allies and he has to start putting himself at risk. I’m just not sure the guy who brings in a crazy general was really a good choice to expose yourself to, however. Lol

Tiara: That’s a good compariness between the Crown Prince and Lee Seon. I really like the crazy General though. Come on, you have to admit he was super funny with his audience with the King and other ministers. We need someone to be the funny one once in awhile as everyone else seem to not know any humor currently. It does make me wonder if rumors will spread to the people the King is a fake.

Wendilynn: They were all screaming “your highness” in their front yard. How could you not hear? Rather foolish to do when you have assassins roaming the streets.

Firnlambe: Clearly their yard is surrounded by the same Joseon Black Magic barrier that surrounds everyone’s rice paper doors. You know….that magical barrier that allows people sitting 5 feet away to not hear any and all of the vital information being exchanged. There is no other explanation for all that screaming to go unnoticed by the roaming assassins.

Tiara: I don’t think they were loud enough for the house down the street and around the corner to hear. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if others noticed the old men yelling for the King. Until next, watch more dramas.


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]

COMING SOON

Ruler: Master of the Mask

Starring Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun

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