Six Flying Dragons Episodes 49 and 50 Recap (Final): All Dragons Rise High and Fly Solo.
Well Flyers, it's time to bid farewell to one the best sageuks around, as our dragons say their final goodbyes but if there is one this that Taleena, Amy and I agree on wholeheartedly, it's that Six Flying Dragons stayed true to its trajectory and never lost sight of its overall goal. It's with a heavy heart that we leave our dragons to slip back into the pages of history but we are satisfied that they never lost sight of who they were or what they wanted to achieve, no matter the cost.
Taleena: Well. This drama is firmly going into my top 5 favorite dramas. It was like a freight train barrelling down the tracks - it knew where it needed to go and made no extra stops getting there. That being said: nothing ever seemed rushed, everyone was fully fleshed out and realized, and everyone had a satisfactory conclusion - if not necessarily a happy one.
Unnichan: Happy endings are never something that I automatically desire and with a journey like this one, there was no way that was going to happen. There were several losses but the realization of certain gains made them understandable. This is drama was superb from beginning to end for me and I won’t ever miss a chance to praise everything about it. The research, the dedication, all that was seen on screen week after week.
Amy: I loved it! Honestly I got a little bored there in the middle but it wasn’t enough to make me want to stop watching. It was well written, acted, and directed. Even though I knew where it was going, I still wanted to watch and I loved watching Bang Won’s thought process as he got more and more greedy for power.
Taleena: Yes, Bang Won got consumed with power and the desire for it. But (and everyone has a big BUT) he stayed true to his stated goals. It helped that he had Boon Yi and Moo Hyul to call him on it, even if they couldn’t ultimately change his methods. It is a testament to the writers and Yoo Ah In, that Bang Won - even in his most power hungry and sociopathic state- managed to stay understandable if not sympathetic.
Amy: Yes! That is another reason why I loved Six Flying Dragons! I understood why everyone, even the bad guys, made the decisions that they did. I get so frustrated watching something and not being able to put myself in a character’s shoes and get where they are coming from.
Unnichan: Look, I would fashion a Golden Globe statue by hand myself for Yoo Ah In’s performance! The writing was stellar but he immersed himself into Yi Bang Won in such a way that even without knowing the history, his transition was so seamless that it felt inevitable and at times necessary. That is actually something that I would say is true of all of our character performances and that is where the writing shines through. Each character remained true to themselves, their convictions, motivations and believes. There were times I was furious and annoyed with them, but never an instance I didn’t understand. And of course there was the occasional character, I just didn’t like.
Taleena: It was really Pretty, Pretty Princess who I never warmed up to.
Amy: Also, I have to be honest. I was getting a little too excited when I thought that Bang Won was going to kill Pretty Princess after she threw her fit about her family dying.
Unichan: Heh. Okay good… So it wasn’t just me. Even knowing that wasn’t going to happen I did want it. Honestly, I just loved the scene altogether; Bang Won with his eyes closed in exasperated annoyance at her huffing and puffing. It was all so useless because this is a man that murdered his fellow students, had his teacher beat to death, stabbed his mentor, killed his brothers, sent his father into loony seclusion, has been abandoned by all her knows and loved and you’re whining because he’s wiping out your family for their elitist, corruption? Girl bye.
Taleena: She knew what she was getting into and how ruthless Bang Won was. Further, I totally hold the Banchon debacle against her. She has always been looking out for number one and Bang Won’s rise to power was her meal ticket. I don’t blame him for the even handed ruthlessness and not letting her family feather their nests at the expense of the little people. I must say I am SO pleased about the fates of Moo Hyul and even Bang Ji. Bang Ji disappeared into the mists of history, but when he FINALLY understood not seeking vengeance after the death of Yoon Rang. I could have cheered. I think I might have yelled, “Finally!” when he walked away to only semi-sad music.
Amy: Moo Hyul is my favorite. I'm watching Faith right now and I say "Hi" to the actor who played him every time I see him. Ha ha! I might have problem. Anyway, I really liked how they wrapped up his character. I loved him telling his stories to neighborhood kids. He's just too adorable. I wanted a little glimpse of Bang Ji after we got to see Boon Yi, but I totally get why we didn't. The man needed his own path after living his life for other people and I'm happy assuming that he found it somehow. I liked seeing Boon Yi doing what she was good at and loved. Still wearing that hair comb too. She really held Bang Won in her heart.
Unnichan: Throughout the entire drama I was wondering how Moo Hyul because Yi Do’s personal warrior and I loved how the writers never missed a beat connecting the dots between their other shows Queen Seon Duk and Tree With Deep Roots. Here they even had an entire overlapping sequence that just made my soul soar. I always believed that Boon Yi would get to walk away and live in peace and it was appropriate that she’s also the one we see get the confirmation of Do Jeon’s lofty dream of national literacy. The love between she and Bang Won was one I grew to impress me, the moment I realized that she accepted her feelings as a general part of herself. It was a fact but not one that ruled her (or his) entire entity or existence. Some things she said truly cut to the quick in one of their last conversations but their bond was tender and deep and one to be respected and admired.
Taleena: At the end as Bang Won is ordering the burning of Pirate Island and Moo Hyul says, “It’s for Boon Yi, isn’t it?” I really expected Bang Won to say, “It’s always been for Boon Yi.” but Bang Won really was already following his own path when he met her. I guess it is safe to say that he would have been a lot more horrible without her tempering influence - even when she moved to the island with her people.
Amy: Without Boon Yi, Bang Won would not have the reminder that he is supposed to be looking out for the people. His son was so sweet and when Boon Yi hugged him. Awww. It was perfect! I’m sure Bang Won had some stories to tell after that. Talking about kids made me remember how happy I am that Bang Ji didn’t follow his mom. I don’t think those two would be good for each other.
Taleena: It was a nice synchronicity that they got the same kid actor to play his son. I felt sorry for Bang Ji’s mom at the end, even if she schemed until her very last moment on screen. She got as caught up in politics as Boon Yi did, but didn’t ever have Boon Yi’s sense. Another thing I really liked about Boon Yi saying goodbye to Bang Ji was when he recognized that Boon Yi was able to do what he was unable to: protect and care for her people. Boon Yi really was the reed that bent without breaking.
Unnichan: That truly is a perfect way to describe Boon Yi and the strength of her character. However, there was never a time I felt anything by way of remorse for Moogook Mom, though I did feel a bout of sympathy when she initially found out the truth. But like everyone else, she made her choices, set her feet on certain paths and there was no way I would be satisfied with either of her children dreaming any new dreams with her. Ddang Sae’s realization was perfect when it came to the difference between his sister and himself and yet another thread that rang true and perfect for them all. And while I’ve always wanted them to find their way together, that separation he created between them long ago in the end, had lasting effects.
Amy: Boon Yi is someone to look up to. She was a really excellent character. I did feel bad for Bang Ji’s mom when they made it clear that she had nobody to protect her anymore but it was super awesome when she stabbed obnoxious laugh guy. That was a decision I supported.
Taleena: I was quite happy that Bang Ji and Moo Hyul only had that one fight. SO happy. There was some amazing fight scenes, but I am glad that they never fought again.
Unnichan: What I appreciated that it took their team work to end Cheok Sa Gwang. For weeks, we wondered how that would all happen and it was beautiful that it was them both. The best swordsman of the land and the warrior who cracked the Goksan master mystery. Sa Gwang was such a lonely, pitiable, tragic soul but finding out she was the last sinner on her list was poetic and painful. Ddang Sae remembering and repeating Yeon Hee’s words to her was the thing that truly gave him the release her needed; a burden he could finally unbound from his shoulders, seeing himself and his struggle and guilt in her.
Amy: I loved it when Boon Yi found out that there was a new alphabet when she went back to the mainland for her last visit. When she stood up for it to the men who were saying Sambong would hate it I was like, yeah! You tell them!
Taleena: Overall I am giving this drama 5 outta 5 stars. I love political intrigue, swordfights, history, big philosophical questions, and swordfights. This one had it all, beautiful costumes, great acting, stirring music and did I mention the swordfights? Now all that is left is to bug everyone I know into watching it and to listen to the OST until my ears fall off.
Amy: I’ll give it a 4.5 out of 5. Like I said, I got a little bored for a bit but it wasn’t a huge hindrance for me. The music, writing, and most of all swordfights were awesome and I want everyone who hasn’t to give Six Flying Dragons a chance.
Unnichan: We’ve said this before but sageuks can be very scary for people, however, is one that I would recommend, regardless of its length for sageuk noobs. I have been calling this drama the sexiest show on television and it remained so. There was never a time that I wasn’t captivated by its story, its characters and its performances. And don’t even get me started on Ddang Sae’s melo track! Guys, if you haven’t tried this, turn it on… YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!
Life Lessons Learned:
- Pretty, Pretty Princesses become Queen H-E-Double Hockey Stick Beasts
- Not even 50 episode epics can resist doing final episode flash forwards
- Bang Won - Revenge! Trees = Bang Won’s kid.
- You can never get rid of Moomyung
- Expecting death bed confessions of surprise parentage from Gil Seon Mi was ultimately disappointing
- Iocane powder apparently comes in bottles with giant red warning stoppers.
- I was half expecting Bang Won to have been building resistance to poison for years.
- Peacock feathers on a giant beaded hat look smoking hot. Who knew?
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