Six Flying Dragons Episodes 1 & 2: The Beginning
Welcome to the first Six Flying Dragons recap! Join Taleena, Amy, and Unnichan as we hash out the first episodes of SFD and get to know the characters. It's definitely off to a HOT (Get it? Because dragons are hot.) start!
Watch the premiere:
Taleena: Where to begin? I really felt like I needed a ‘short history of 14th century Korean politics for dummies’ book because I KNOW every Korean school kid knows who these people are and I was desperately trying to remember the placards from the cultural museums from my trip to Korea a summer a go. I guess we should start by noting that this is the transition from Goreyeo to Joseon and Yuan and Ming in China right?
Amy: Yeah. I was desperately trying to write down everyone’s names so that I could look them up later. So many names! I’m just glad we weren’t hit with all of these people in a boring way. I never felt hopelessly lost. Ha ha! I think that I need to brush up on my history for sure. I feel like I want to know everything that happened during that time period now.
Unnichan: I love sageuk for this very reason! It’s difficult for us who know little to nothing about the “actual” history of Korean but I am grateful for the tidbits I learn from sweeping stories like this one and fusions. You can piece together the history you learn from one drama to the next, then pick a book to make it all make sense. And this is like a Tree with Deep Roots prequel (in more ways than one), which makes this one all the more exciting to watch unfold.
Taleena: OK. Let’s see if we can lay this out a little. Episode one gave us a cold open with The Hidden Cave of Knowledge and we met Young Earnest Dude . YED flashes us back to Young Earnest Kid, younger son of the General. His older brother was also there. I know that General, Older Brother and YED all become the first three kings of the Joseon Dynasty. Aaaaannnnnddddd that’s about all I know.
Amy: Yay! You know more than me. I was wondering about his older brother because I knew YED became king and was wondering where his brother fit in the picture. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Unnichan: Yea, it’s quite interesting how they both become king. I’m not sure how much of that portion of the story we will get see, being that you know pretty much from the first frame, this story is so not about big brother Lee Bang Gwa. Though I must admit I quite liked him. He didn’t seem as wide-eyed as Lee Bang Won, but just as devoted and dedicated to Daddy Lee Seong Gye, which says tons about the man.
Amy: But poor YED though. It was hard to watch his hopes get crushed when his dad wasn’t as strong as he thought.
Taleena: Yup, it’s pretty rough when your kidhood idols have feet of clay. I also know one other thing: the writers of this show made another show about YED as a king that was not terribly flattering of him, so I wonder if YED is going to take a personality turn for the worse before the rest of the 48 episodes are done.
Unnichan: I am so ready to see the burgeoning evil. I know we won’t get full blown, just hints I’m sure but from the impression we get from like every show ever that mentions Taejong (Lee Gang Won’s posthumous name), he’s is a far, far cry from YED. [CAN’T WAIT!]
Taleena: Also, General Dad seems to have made a mistake purging his traitorous brother? friend? in the flashback within a flashback and I wonder how much of that mistake is going to inform the formation of YED’s own zeal in purging traitors.
Amy: YED seemed dead set on getting rid of all traitors, so that is interesting to think about. It may have changed his view completely or made him more zealous to get rid of anyone who betrays him. I’m wondering how the beggar kids he met are going to fit into the picture too. They definitely have a connection with Do Jeon, the guy who went against Yuan and YED was admiring at the end of the second episode. Were you confused by all of the scholars too or was that just me?
Unnichan: You are definitely on to something with the second point about snuffing out betrayers. It’s hard for every kid to be confronted with the humanity of their parents but this situation is slightly different given who his father is even now and what he believes Lee Seong Gye wants and should accomplish. As for Jung Do Jeon, I wasn’t confused, but I have no doubt Boon Yi and Ddang Sae’s confusion over what happened to their mother and who may have her, won’t be completely solved just because he sang a lamenting folk song.
Taleena: Well, I had the advantage of recapping The King’s Face last year with all the political ups and downs so I was less confused by the scholars. The girl and her somewhat derp brother are going to be one of the six dragons. (Side note: everytime I read or write ‘six dragons’ my brain says “six flags” and then it sidetracks on to an crazy roller coaster of my imagination called “the Dragon”. It’s going to be a long 50 episodes) That spunky little gal will grow up to be Shin Se Kyung who was the lead girl in Sensory Couple.
Amy: I think that “The Dragon” would be an awesome roller coaster and now I want to ride it. So someone get on that. I’m hoping that Shin Se Kyung’s acting will have continued to improve because I she did a pretty good job in Sensory Couple and it would be awesome to watch her get even better. I was thinking that the little girl seemed more like an older sibling than her brother. I like her spunk. She reminds me of my youngest who is always bossing everyone around.
Unnichan: Not loving Boon Yi very much (though that could be my Super Daddy Yeol flashbacks) but with a brother like Ddang Sae--- optimistic, nostalgic, I can understand why she’s the one who bosses him around and makes decisions. He’s very, very sweet; he follows her around and protects her. It’s cute. But there’s no way he stays that way. He just hasn’t had “that” moment yet. Maybe it will be finding out (for certain) his mother is dead?
Taleena: So we will have Do Jeon (1), YED (2), Girl (3), Bro (4), so who are (5) and (6)? Do we find out if second dude in Library Cave is the brother? Sometimes I miss these obvious things.
Amy: Okay. I think that numbers 5 and 6 are Moo Hyul and Lee Seong Gye. We didn’t find out who the guy in Library Cave is but I’m thinking he is Do Jeon. Maybe. Ha ha!
Taleena: Well, yeah YED was waiting for Do Jeon, but who was the OTHER guy that he said he knew? The one Do Jeon “robbed of his life?” I THINK it is the Slightly Dim brother all grown up. It makes sense for 5 & 6 to be General Dad and Older Brother.
Unnichan: Well yea, being that Boon Yi and Ddang Sae are dragons and Lee Gang Won says (in the cave) that he knows both men, Byun Yo Han has to be adult Ddang Sae. The last two dragons could be the General and Hyung, Lee Bang Gwa, if being a dragon means playing a pivotal part of Joseon’s creation. However, once they were mentioned, I thought, perhaps maybe there will be someone else introduced later.
Amy: Oh oh oh! Sorry. I think it was the dim brother too. Amy brain at its finest right now.
Taleena: OK can we talk about Purple Eyeshadow for a minute? He was seriously throwing me and then went and gave a beat down to the King’s assassin and suddenly I took him a little more seriously.
Unnichan: I actually love his name, Gil Tae Mi. It’s fun to say and just rolls off the tongue. I also really like the character actor (Park Hyuk Kwon). So I too, just thought this depiction would be a caricature of the bumbling sycophant and inherently heavy Chinese influence on fashion and culture of the one percent. But once he won his not-so-fair fight, I figured his squawking wasn’t all bravado. Perhaps, he even made a tiny line in someone’s history book.
Amy: I love Purple Eyeshadow! I know he is a bad guy but I like his attitude. I think it is awesome when a character has a hidden, unexpected side. I call him General Makeup. I loved it when he was filing his nails and mocking his superior and the scholars when they were trying to have a serious talk. Ha ha!
Taleena: Yes, He’s a bad guy and not just because he is the toady of the guy who is scheming against the people on the poster, but because he is the toady of the guy who is opposing the swelling heroic themes. Never be the guy in opposition to swelling heroic theme music.
Unnichan: But I don’t mind opposing the heroes if I understand your stance. If I get your motives and your convictions. My main issue is that he doesn’t seem to think entirely on his own. I won’t say he’s following blindly, but he’s decided on his team, therefore, whatever slimy puppet Prime Minister Lee In Gyeom says, goes.
Taleena: Also, never be the guy complicit with kidnapping lactating women and putting them to squick inducing labor. *shuddering* blech!
Amy: I did not know how to process that. Like really? That was actually a thing? Please tell me it wasn’t. Ugh. I would have thrown up too YED.
Unnichan: Look, what got me was I was only slightly miffed by Pouty P.M.’s answer to why the pork was so good. I just accepted it and let it go. But then, we got a peek into the piglet feeding den and I was floored! And then the fallout? Something that abominable, must be true or pretty close to it.
Taleena: OK, So I feel like we have really learned a lot these two episodes, right? And not just Korean history let’s recap:
Taleena’s Lessons learned:
1) Do not underestimate Weasels Wearing Purple Eyeshadow
2) Never fall for one of the Classic Blunders: Getting involved in a land war in Asia.
3) I will never EVER stop loving a Bearded Kim Myung-Min. Ever. He is the best.
4) Never underestimate the power of a bunch of people calling for Yuan head cutting - I started looking around for a sharp knife and desperately wanted to sing the folk song at the end of episode two.
5) Episode one made me rethink my love of pork for a few days.
6) Just because you THINK you have all the scheming angles covered doesn’t mean you actually do Scheme-y McSchemerson!
7) I want a giant bath filled with rose petals to scheme in.
What do you think Flyers? Were you able to keep all of the characters straight? Who will the six flying dragons be? Do you love Gil Tae Mi too? What lesson did you learn from the first two episodes of Six Flying Dragons? Let us know!
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