Six Flying Dragons episodes 37 and 38: Dragons Are Still Monsters
Flyers, this week on Six Flying Dragons has us preparing for the beginning of the end. The clash we've all been waiting for is finally underway and while hearts are confused and conflicted, this brave new world will be established through power, persuasion and perseverance. Join Amy, Taleena and I as we hope, when it's all said and done, there's also some remnants of peace.
Unnichan: I guess I will start by saying that Lee Bang Won’s theme has now officially been changed to Trick Daddy’s Baby ‘Cause I’m a Thug. Yes, yes, it may be a trap track but it’s eery how much the first verse applies to how our Prince Jeongan views himself and the world. All I can say is, we knew it was coming, we’ve called it several times, and while many may try to put their finger on the exact moment, I’d have to say for me, it was Bang Won’s decision to burn down Doomoon-dong. For, it wasn’t about his plan, so to speak but more that there’s no need to try and clean up his image or change anyone’s mind about him or his motives any longer. He’s just going to do him and well, I can’t really blame him.
Taleena: Bang Won’s embrace of utter ruthlessness was hard to watch for me. The killing of Poeun was done to save the revolution and his family from certain death, but the death of the 13 and the subsequent breaking of the rest? Well, that is the fruit of planting a Revenge! grove of trees. Sambong’s own heartbreak at Poeun’s death has blinded his eyes to how badly he has alienated Bang Won, although the polarizing effect he has on government officials has not gone unnoticed.
Amy: Bang Won has done a lot to contribute to the new country so I understand why he has had enough of Sambong constantly dismissing him. Sambong doubted Bang Won when he didn’t trust Peon and a lot of times before that too. Knowing that he has contributed so much but won’t have any authority in the new country has to be really hard for Bang Won to accept. While I don’t necessarily agree with how he got the scholars out of Doomoon-dong it got them out and Sambong got the officials that he wanted back. I think that if he can keep giving the authorities what they want more will be swayed to his side and his power will just grow and grow.
Unnichan: I’m actually loving this show’s use of fire, literally and figuratively. But, the thing is that Minister Jo Joon was right that what Almost Joseon needs now is the stability that power will bring, even though the ends don’t justify the means. We keep coming back to this point over and over again because we’ve got two characters that are straightlaced and dutiful, holding pride in their morals and ideologies and while that is all well and good, the reason we love and respect them, it’s also that mindset that keeps things from moving forward. One could argue that it’s a justification for impatience and recklessness but I think that it’s more about realizing that things can’t and will never be perfect when you’re dealing with nothing but imperfections--- humans.
Amy: I see what you mean. If only the world didn’t have to be that way but it is and you just have to take the bad with the good.
Taleena: Part of it is this: both Bang Won and Do Jeon recognize that human nature - or as they put it the greed of ambition - will inevitably devolve even the most perfect of government plans to a cronyist oppressive regime. The question becomes - if you can not change human nature can you direct it to do the least damage? While I admire Sambong’s ultimate vision of a virtuous nation, I wonder at how sturdy his mechanisms for checking corruption and ambition are - especially considering that he can’t even seem to check Bang Won’s near off the chain ambition? Even Boon Yi seemed shocked when Yeon Hee laid it out so baldly.
Amy: Were you surprised that Boon Yi didn’t realized Bang Won had changed too? I know it was obvious to us because we were supposed to know but I thought she would have had at least a little inkling that Bang Won was different. I guess it doesn’t help that Boon Yi is busy with her own thing.
Unnichan: Yes and No? Because I don’t think she was oblivious to his change, I think what threw her was what about him had changed or that he was willing to alter in ways that were beyond her imagination. For her, they’ve (she, Sambong, Bang Won) always wanted the same things. And though Bang Won didn’t go about making those things happen conventionally, she was basically fine with that because she knew what his endgame was, where his road would lead. But the issue that Yeon Hee brings up is that though all those things may be true, there’s more to his story, more to motives and his road is diverging into territory Sambong would never go. It just reminds me that Boon Yi still hasn’t taken Moogook Mom’s words to heart and realize that they need to be applied to everything almost all the time.
Amy: That’s very true. I’m liking Boon Yi and Ddang Sae’s mom more because she is so smart and capable but I still don’t fully understand her. I’m probably forgetting something somewhere but she obviously wants to see her son so what is stopping her?
Unnichan: From how I see it, her reason is quite simple: She can’t. She’s made her choice and she sought out the child she knew would accept that with the least amount of guilt, question or opposition. You said she was smart and this is another example. She knows her kids and she knows herself. She could speak her mind and leave a pearl or two without getting emotional and distracted with Boon Yi (she’s more like her)---- that wouldn’t have happened with Ddang Sae, he’s not that kid. However, I do admit, I appreciate his mindset and resolve. He too has made a choice, for himself regarding his alliance and his mother. I’m digging it. We’ll see how long it lasts though.
Taleena: The more she sees them the more they are dragged into her machinations. WHile they are not UNimportant to Do Jeon’s government, neither are they so important that they couldn’t retire to Yiseo and farm. Although that never seemed like a strong possibility for Ddang Sae, it is looking ever farther away for Boon Yi too.
Amy: Ah. I get it now. Thank you. Ha ha! I don’t know what it is about Six Flying Dragons but I really struggle to think things through. Speaking of, Moo Hyul is really starting to think a lot and question what is going on around him. I can tell he wants to stay loyal to Bang Won but is struggling because of the changes that Bang Won has made. I know that his encounters with Sa Kwang have gotten him to think about what is going on around him in a different way. I wonder what will happen with him next and if he will finally question Bang Won himself.
Unnichan: Internal struggle is a sign of maturity and Moo Hyul is definitely continuing to come into his own. Loyalty is a tricky subject because not only should it not be the most important factor, it isn’t always black and white. Which makes it something that many struggle with and have a very hard time reconciling--- I mean, look at Bang Woo! He’s still a character who holds a soft place in my heart and while I don’t appreciate him swinging his sword around all the time, I remain completely convinced by his compass (though very concerned about his disappearance).
Taleena: Moo Hyul is growing in maturity, but as he begins to think and consider the morality of his actions and those of his Prince, I started feeling very, very nervous for his ultimate survival.
Unnichan: It was actually the General and Sambong I felt were out of line this time around deciding not to respect his views. I get that they’re in the business of creating a Confucian kingdom and lineage has a lot to do with that protocol, but you have to think about who you are working with, and that just ain’t gon’ happen… (excuse me for getting Southern on you). And, that’s this on-going cycle that we see with those two.
Amy: General Dad and Sambong will not accept that things will not go their way. They will keep trying to get things to go their way and that will be their downfall because they are too stubborn to change.
Unnichan: I’m not sure what I would call it because I don’t disagree with them and I don’t view them as obstinate per se, but now with only a few more episodes and this push for Bang Seok for the throne, well, I think something is going to have to give. The problem is what on earth will bring everything to the inevitable eruption we’ve been anticipating? Murder can’t always be Bang-won’s fail safe (though I actually think it is) and Sambong has got to realize quickly what Moomyung is planning. Sigh. The politics are getting stickier and the players up to their neck in mud.
Life Lessons Learned:
- Green Mountain theme is not always sad (hooray for the dethroned king who actually lived!)
- Beware monks poking you with lighted incense.
- Don’t expect forbearance from someone who plants Revenge Trees
- I will always wonder: What happened to the Hat Tree of Protest?
- Conversations praising your methods of skull crushing are always a little unsettling
- Pretty, Pretty Princesses may be annoying but their hair pretties are always fabulous.
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