It’s interesting how writing about Goong S has actually made me more interested in the series… It helps that the show is nearly ending, so there is less reason to be critical; if I’ve stuck around this long, I’m just here to enjoy how it ends.
SONG(s) OF THE DAY
Theme song “Miracle” by Howl [ zShare download ]
Second Moon – “밖으로 닫힌 창.” The title (“bakkeuro dadjhin chang”) translates roughly to “Closed window”; it’s one of my favorite instrumental tracks, calm and slightly sad to balance out the upbeatness of “Miracle.” [ zShare download ]
I’m still a sucker for Hoo and Soon-yi, especially since now they’re done beating around the bush and have recognized their feelings for each other. Also, Hoo is an incredibly sweet boyfriend, which never hurts. He’s a bit on the overly perfect side, but you can’t blame them for that… The series is nearing the end of its underwhelming, disappointing ratings run, and there’s no reason NOT to make Seven as heroic as possible. Hey, throw the poor guy a bone; he’s earned it.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that his rival really contrasts against him in his dullness. Sorry, but that guy is just a black hole of charisma! He doesn’t exactly suck, and he’s not awful… but he just sucks energy out of the scenes.
That said, he had a few nice moments in 18.
Episode 18 was pretty simple, I thought. Sorry if I don’t do a totally “proper” scene-by-scene report, but I tend to glaze over the parts that are less interesting. It’s pretty obvious which parts I DO find interesting, lol.
The Princely Competitions. I should think of a better name for that. In any case, Hoo is named winner of the most recent challenge, clearing the queen’s Aide’s name. He risked a lot in search of the truth; what more fitting and proper quality can a king have? The elders, and the Prime Minister (Sae-ryung’s dad) support Hoo, to Hyo-jang Dae-gong’s ire.
The next competition is back to boredom city, as it involves blank scrolls. Forgive my vagueness, but I started tuning out as soon as I realized we were back to lame challenges. Something about both Princes needing to find out what the true meaning or value of a sovereign ruler is, to be written in Chinese characters on the scrolls.
Hwang Tae-hu. The Hwang Tae-hu (queen mother) has seen Hoo and Soon-yi together, and reacts by pushing Hoo to Sae-ryung. But he objects, telling them straight out that he can’t marry Sae-ryung, because he already likes someone else. Sae-ryung is heartbroken(ish):
Hoo: “Let’s be good friends instead, Sae-ryung. Let’s end here.”
Sae-ryung: “I can’t end it here. How can I, when it’s just begun? I’ve opened my heart for the first time… I’ve started to truly like someone for the first time. How can I just end it here?”
The Hwang Tae-hu calls Soon-yi in and berates her for getting involved with Hoo. He’s not like all other men; he’s going to be the nation’s leader. He needs someone who can support him, not just a palace maid. If her feelings for Hoo are sincere, the queen doesn’t have to tell her what needs to be done.
The queen’s getting all up in everybody’s biz’ness because next, she sees Joon, asks if he has feelings for Soon-yi too, then yells at HIM for being foolish, too.
I think the queen needs a new hobby.
THE BIG TWIST!
1) Joon’s mother had a thing with Ajusshi years ago.
2) Joon’s mother was somehow the cause of Hoo’s mother’s banishment, sacrificing her to save herself.
3) Joon is very probably Jo Sang-ki’s son.
Joon confronts his father about what he’s learned from Ajusshi:
Joon: “Tell me. Please. Are you… really…”
Hyo-jang: “Shut up!!”
“You are MY SON! I have NEVER once thought otherwise!
Do you know why?!
Because, until you die, you have to be my son!
You are my son who will become this country’s ruler!!”
If you ask me, Shi-yeon has a thing for Joon. A sort of reverse-Bodyguard scenario, if you will.
HOO AND SOON-YI. After her upsetting audience with the Queen Mother, Soon-yi gets drunk.
Soon-yi: “Why do you like me? Why?”
Hoo: “Then, why do you like me?”
Soon-yi: “Huh?…. Um… Aish, who needs a reason to like someone?”
Hoo: “Why ask when you know the answer? Girls are really strange.”
“You have to become brave, and tough. Don’t weaken your spirits, okay?”
(Obligatory piggyback scene….)
Joon: “If you can’t protect her properly, then at least end things now. It’ll just make things worse for Soon-yi… I will not lose Soon-yi to you.”
Hoo: “Same here. As the man who loves Yang Soon-yi, I will protect her at any cost.”
(Yes, he used the word “love,” or “sarang.” I was quite surprised to hear it, actually. Although Hoo and Soon-yi don’t profess love for each other, I felt like they were dancing around the word several times in the episode.)
Soon-yi and Hoo get into an argument; they have opposite opinions regarding the Pye-ha’s relationship with Alex. Hoo thinks they shouldn’t have to separate if they love each other, but Soon-yi understands why someone would leave.
So later, Hoo goes to Soon-yi’s place to apologize…
“I’m sorry. It was completely my fault. Forgive me.”
They bring Alex and Pye-ha together for their last farewells, having found out that Alex is resigning his post. (Thankfully, the drama gods were listening to my prayers because Alex remained mercifully silent during Pye-ha’s farewell speech.)
Hoo and Soon-yi once again disagree:
Hoo: “If they’re in love, why break up?”
Soon-yi: “Dummy. You break up because you love.”
Hoo: “If you love someone, you stay together and take responsibility through the end. To leave someone because you love them — how stupid is that?”
Soon-yi: “Why are you so worked up?”
Hoo: “It makes me think of my mother. After she left, my father would have missed her the rest of his life. And what about my mother? What is that?”
“Promise me. You’ll never leave me first.”
Hoo: “Promise me.”
Soon-yi: “I can’t.”
Hoo: “Why? Why can’t you?”
Soon-yi: “You can’t know the future. The more you live…”
Hoo: “The more you live, what?”
Soon-yi: “The more you live, unexpected things can arise. Like your mother, like the Professor. There can be times when, because you love… because you truly love… you have no choice but to leave.”
Hoo: “So if that situation arose, does that mean you’d leave too?”
Hoo: “Yang Soon. Don’t do that. If you left me again, I really couldn’t bear it. So promise me. That you’ll be by my side forever.”
Okay, I have to admit. That’s a rather cheesy way to go out. But what can I say, I’m a sucker for cheese.