War. What is it really good for? Twisting things to your advantage for one. Come discuss the surprises of episodes 21 and 22 with Taleena, Unnichan, and Amy!

Taleena: So...there was that. I am not 100% certain what to think of the last few episodes. One the one hand, I am happy to see the rebellion take some large steps forward, it seemed like it took a lot to push General Dad past the sticking point.

Unnichan: The General making his choice brought tears to my eyes last week, but this week it was seeing his family alive. I enjoyed how that was done, in this “Yi’s never say die” kind of way. But I definitely agree the episodes were different. You could feel the shift.

Taleena: Then, on the other hand, Lee In Gyeum died off screen and that was kind of a let down. Part of me doesn’t quite believe he is dead. Dudes that crafty and bad never just die off screen, no matter how old they are.

Amy: I didn’t want to believe he was dead either but when I saw the guy who outwitted Do Jeon do his evil laugh thing I believed it. Of course, he could have convinced In Gyeum to go into hiding so that he could carry out his plan. I thought that everything was going to well for Do Jeon and gang. Poor guy won’t know what to do with himself.

Unnichan: The interesting thing about this story is how it just swims along. We want to wade in the water a bit, bask in a positive for a minute or two but nope! There’s no such thing in this world. One thing rolls in right after another. And though, I was hoping to come back around to Pouty (ex) PM, I’m glad we’re not. Our dragons need a new foe. And Ha Ryoon will be a long lasting one. Sinister laugh, evil, sneaky schemes and all.

Taleena: It wasn’t the evil laugh that was the most convincing, but the fact that he was forging Lee In Gyeum’s name. Quite frankly, LIG would have strung up a forger by his toes for slow torture if he were alive. The fact that the Dowager Queen was sent a forged note kind of sealed it.

Amy: I’m thinking In Gyeum would do anything to keep the nobles in charge but I can see where you’re coming from. I thought that the king would go all chicken and run away when General Dad was coming to the castle but he figured out how to stay alive didn’t he? You could definitely feel his frustration when he was trying to do what he was told but nothing was working out.

Unnichan: That did throw me but I just couldn’t bring myself to feel bad for him. His story is one that many rulers find themselves in but his thirst for blood, was certainly all his own. Perhaps, that was his own way of gaining power, or feeling powerful to conceal the reality of his lameness. Either way, moving him aside gave us more insight into the politics that put him there and even more disappointing side eyes for Choi Young.

Taleena: That’s the problem with being a puppet ruler rather than making decisions all along. Even if you are making poor decisions, you’re not going to be as wholly insulated. Was I wrong in hearing that the Dowager Queen was more politically active than the king? Props to the king that he finally made the right choice in the end. Speaking of puppet rulers, the choice that Evil Peddler prompted for king, was that a child king? Essentially making the Dowager the ‘ruler’? (But Really General Jo?)

Amy: Aaaaaaaah! Ha ha! I was wondering if it was a child king too so that would make the Dowager ruler and General Jo the decision maker I guess. I don’t know. Man. What a mess.

Unnichan: We all know that fear and greed is what rules the roost here, but it can be terribly annoying to watch. Posting a child in the place of a capable, able bodied and minded adult is just ridiculous (in this case)! What’s even more insane, is that everyone around, knows exactly why this is happening and can do little to nothing about it. If we had a Dowager that was actually going to hold her own, I think I’d be more resolved to this play but from what we’ve seen so far, she just ebbs with the tide.

Amy: I’m feeling for Do Jeon right now. How do you untangle all of this? Will Bang Won throw Do Jeon off of his pedestal now? Probably not yet but I think it will come soon if Do Jeon can’t figure things out.

Taleena: Well, we know eventually that Bang Won breaks with Do Jeon. Eventually. I thought it was after his dear old dad assumed the throne and he was unhappy with some of the reform process. I always feel like I ought to know more history than I do watching this show.

Amy: Me too but then I don’t do anything about it.

Unnichan: I think everyone is itching to see that heavy opposition from Bang Won, we all know is not only inevitable but most certainly coming, however, I’m not sure it’s going to happen in this show (at least not to any large degree). I’m certain he will give Sambong some push back here and there but for the most part, for now, they truly are working together, thinking similarly. Bang Won is independent but he’s also a learner. He’s going to glean and grow. A nation has to be built first.

Amy: So who knew that a simple song could hold so much meaning? I am not smart enough to figure that stuff out. One little song and everything unravelled. I was kind of surprised that Ddang Sae didn’t continue following peddler guy. 

Taleena: If Ddang Sae didn’t stop following the peddler, he would never had so rich an opportunity to laugh evilly! Still, don’t feel stupid about not getting the song - or the super secret cypher at the end - because both of those things are predicated on homophones in Korean and knowing period specific Chinese characters. So, you know, easy peasy stuff.  

Unnichan: Exactly! Sometimes it makes you feel like you aren’t putting pieces together but it’s really got so much to do with imbedded context clues that we’d never get, simply because we’re missing some pretty huge key components. It makes me think about how important it was in those times to use stories and wordplay to learn and communicate. Reminds me that our ancestors were much more self-reliant and savvy than we are now.

Taleena: I thought the kid with all the taffy looked like he was rollin’ in it.

Amy: Wouldn’t you roll in that amount of taffy as a kid? Moo Hyul has been doing some growing up these past few episodes. He is learning a lot of life lessons and looking more like a man. Still a cute puppy but, you know, there is a hint of man there.

Taleena: I felt a sad lack of Moo Hyul these last few episodes. I did enjoy him hugging Granny when he came back and also Ddang Sae jumping onto the roof to get that guy. Can I also say, those horns were pretty scary sounding when they attacked the city.

Unnichan: It’s funny you would mention Moo Hyul and the horns at once because it was actually those two things that had me singing out of context songs this week, like “Be A Man” from Mulan for Moo Hyul, because he’s grown so very much in like ten seconds and “Blow the Trumpet in Zion” for the soldiers. Their return was absolutely triumphant for me.

Taleena: That’s funny you would think of “Blow the Trumpet in Zion” Unnichan. I had a Walls of Jericho moment myself! Then, because my brain segues that way I jumped to Lord of the Rings Helm’s Deep.

Life Lessons Learned

  • If you see a secret passage in one episode, it is going to come in handy five episodes later
  • Turning, not pushing or pulling!
  • Nursery Rhymes - Ominous prophesy, propaganda, and entertainment all rolled into one!
  • Incense is awesome for sussing out secret passages
  • Never stand in the way of an asthmatic’s Mom and their walnut juice
  • You outwit Do Jeon, you deserve as long a melodramatic an evil laugh as you want.
  • Sound the horn of Helm Hammerhand in the Deep!


Want more Drama Club?

Episodes 1&2: The Beginning

Episodes 3&4: When dragons start feeding wolves

Episodes 5&6: Destiny Beckons

Episodes 7&8: Sambong’s Plan

Episodes 9&10: Back At One

Episodes 11&12: The Shadow Knows

Episodes 13&14: Mouths Moves as Hearts Speak

Episodes 15&16: Bang Won’s Growth

Episodes 17&18:

Episodes 19-20: Kings Reign Black Horses

Episodes 21-22: Nemesis Nursery Rhymes 

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