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Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: Episode 16

Despite my disappointment in yesterday’s episode, I was looking forward to what today would bring us, hopeful that it would do what this show does best in drawing meaning and emotion out of small, heartfelt moments and displays of interpersonal care.

We get a little bit of that, but I’m sorry to report that my hopes were not to be realized and what we have is mostly rebel political hour, which is at least a plot driver. I do wish that plot being driven were somehow more exciting or moving, but okay, at least it moved. We are not standing in the same place we were yesterday. That lining is a little silver-colored.

 

 
EPISODE 16: “The world you dream of”

And now for the return of Hong Kyung-rae. He appears before Ra-on’s mother for the first time in a decade, to her utter shock.

A bit later, the news reaches the king’s ears that the leader of the peasant rebellion has been alive all these years.

Hong Kyung-rae urges Mom to run away quickly, a fear proven accurate moments later when soldiers approaches the house. He grabs Mom’s hand and leads her away, but there are more soldiers coming from the other direction, trapping them on the grounds. They huddle around a corner, but the soldiers sense their presence and advance slowly.

Hong Kyung-rae sees that they’re about to be discovered and instructs his wife to stay absolutely put. She realizes what he means to do and begs him not to do it.

But he steps forward anyway to confront the soldiers, who come at him with swords swinging. He’s unarmed, but deftly evades blows and snatches a weapon away from a soldier, and manages to get one in a stranglehold.

When the fight throws them outside, however, he’s surrounded and outnumbered. Ra-on’s mother chokes back her horror as her husband is cornered.

The king is so shocked by news of Hong Kyung-rae’s capture that he accuses his officer of joking. Hearing that he has been hiding all these years and preparing a new rebellion is too much for the king, who has a panic attack and collapses.

Head Eunuch Han is just as stunned by the news, having believed his old colleague dead.

On his way to his wedding, Yeong hears that his father has collapsed and changes direction.

Ra-on returns home to signs of chaos and a mother stricken with shock. Mom mumbles that Ra-on’s father was taken away, gasping that he was alive all this time. Ra-on tries to soothe her mother while wrestling with her own turmoil over the news.

Hong Kyung-rae is transported through the city, sparking a hubbub among the people. Head Eunuch Han is dismayed that the friend he’d so dearly wanted to see again showed up in these circumstances and vows, “Even if I have to risk my life, I will make sure he escapes.” Byung-yeon looks at him in alarm.

Ra-on lets the rebels take her and her mother under their protection, and makes a request of Eunuch Han. He roundly rejects her proposition to see her father in the palace prison, but Ra-on pleads to be allowed to see the father she never knew.

The king is a paranoid wreck, and mutters that it wasn’t a dream but reality when he saw Hong Kyung-rae in his bedchamber the other night. The king looks fairly pathetic, but Yeong can only watch his father rambling before his ministers. Prime Minister Kim suggests that the king hold a special interrogation of the criminal, where they can sentence him to beheading.

Yeong balks at the idea of making the king interrogate the criminal given his weakened state, but the Kims are savvy at pushing the king’s buttons. The King rashly insists on proceeding with the interrogation, leaving Yeong and Head Eunuch Han dismayed.

That night, Ra-on takes on the disguise of a palace soldier to sneak into the palace, and is surprised when Byung-yeon shows up in a similar disguise to accompany her there.

Yeong heads to the prison as well, determined to ask Hong Kyung-rae his questions face to face.

Ra-on arrives first, and Byung-yeon stands guard while she approaches her father’s cell. He sits facing away from her, and Ra-on takes a long moment working up her nerve to speak to him. Before she can, Byung-yeon hears footsteps and alerts her to the danger.

Ra-on drops something into her father’s cell, and after she leaves, Hong Kyung-rae looks over to see the handkerchief embroidered with Mom’s favorite egret flower.

Ra-on and Byung-yeon leave the prison just moments before Yeong shows up on his way inside. Despite their disguises, they tense to see Minister Kim and his cronies heading straight toward them. Thankfully they can take cover behind two other guards passing by, enabling them to pass without close scrutiny.

Minister Kim takes a second look, however, observing Ra-on as she hurries on. He may sense familiarity but doesn’t quite make the connection.

In the prison, Yeong addresses Hong Kyung-rae, asking for confirmation on his identity and whether his family knows of his capture. Hong says he has no family. Yeong points out that Hong wants to get rid of the king, and asks if that makes Yeong a target. He says, “Because of you, I lost something precious.”

At that, Hong replies that when the heavens appoint a leader, it’s for the benefit of the people, not for a person to use for his own selfish interests. Yeong asks if that’s what the rebel group thinks. Hong answers, “I think there’s an error in that thinking. A leader who is for the people is not put there by the heavens. A leader who is for the people should be put there by the people themselves.”

Byung-yeon takes Ra-on back to his quarters for the night, since it’s too risky to smuggle her out right now. She tells him he’s done a lot for her tonight, and takes a look around the familiar surroundings… just as the prince steps into the room behind her.

Yeong asks Byung-yeon if he brought her here, and Byung-yeon apologizes.

Minister Kim eventually makes the connection between the palace guard and Ra-on, and tells his cronies that he saw her. The prime minister orders her caught before Hong’s interrogation begins. They suspect she’ll still be on the palace grounds, given the security, and the prime minister muses that he’d like to see the prince’s face upon witnessing that father-daughter reunion.

Yeong leads Ra-on through a back door to a quiet upstairs room, and tells her that she can hide here if she needs cover; it’s well-hidden, but he knows it because his mother sometimes used this space.

He checks that Ra-on is okay, and offers to create an opportunity for her to slip inside the prison during a changing of the guard. “People you miss should be met,” he says. She’s moved by his thoughtfulness.

The next day, prison security is ratcheted up even higher, with wanted posters featuring Ra-on’s face posted all over. Eunuchs Do Ki and Sung-yeol see the poster as they pass by, and gape in disbelief—not only is their buddy related to a traitor, but now he’s a she.

Ha-yeon is shocked first at Ra-on’s true identity, then at the realization that the prince’s beloved eunuch was a woman.

Head Eunuch Han informs Byung-yeon of the plan to break Hong Kyung-rae out of prison in two days, which will involve rebels in disguise and an underground passage, with Eunuch Hong taking the fugitives outside the palace. Byung-yeon nods in understanding, and Eunuch Hong urges him to protect Ra-on well.

Yeong is surprised to find Ha-yeon waiting for him in his room, and she explains that despite their wedding being interrupted, she was treated as the crown princess and allowed in. He apologizes for making her wait but suggests she return another time, not up for a talk right now.

Ha-yeon notices that he’s no longer wearing his bracelet and asks if he took it off. Yeong answers, “I have merely put it somewhere else momentarily.” Ha-yeon recalls the superstition about the pair of bracelets and how their wearers are bound to reunite, saying that the merchants are quite good at inventing stories.

Yeong answers, “It is probably because they understand the hearts of people who know it is a lie but wish to believe it anyway.” Judging from her disappointed reaction, Ha-yeon seems to understand what this means.

A bit later, she puts more pieces together, recalling Ra-on (as a eunuch) wearing the counterpart bracelet, and also Yeong’s admission that there was a woman he loved. Finally, she makes the realization that Ra-on is the woman the prince loves.

With Yeong’s help, Ra-on returns to the prison, initially acting the part of an ordinary prison guard. But her father has already deduced the truth, despite not exchanging words yesterday, and he calls her name. He says ruefully that he didn’t give her that name intending her to life such a hard life, and apologizes. Ra-on asks when he intended to show himself to her, and he says, “I don’t know. Maybe when the day came that you would not have to act as a man.”

She says tearfully, “Even if the world did not change, as my father by my side, you could have been a great strength to me.” But he sees it differently, not wanting to live in such a corrupt world where he would subject his wife and child to difficulties and be able to do so little about it. “I wanted to change it,” he says, “into a world that was just a little better for you to live in.”

She wishes she had at least known he was alive all these years: “I would have missed you greatly, and called out for you many times.” Her father hangs his head, looking down at his handkerchief, a tear running down his cheek.

Yeong watches the exchange from a distance, then escorts Ra-on back out of the prison. Neither sees that they’ve been spotted by Eunuch Sung, who hurries off to inform the queen.

He’s so rushed that he charges right into Yoon-sung, who’s on his way to visit. Yoon-sung watches curiously as the eunuch excuses himself and beelines for the queen.

Eunuch Sung tells her excitedly that he’s found Ra-on, and the queen lights up in delight. He adds that she was on her way toward the building where she used to live, and in the company of the prince. The queen decides she’ll have to see this for herself.

She gets up to go straightaway, and runs into Yoon-sung outside her door. He explains that he’s delivering tea from his grandfather, but also insists on speaking with her first, ignoring her impatience to leave. She tries to push past him, but he whispers into her ear that his talk has to do with that baby she smuggled out of the palace recently—and that certainly gets her attention.

So the queen returns to her chamber, and struggles to keep calm as Yoon-sung addresses what she’s done. He warns her to forget what she’s just heard about Ra-on being in the palace, and to not speak a word of it to anyone.

A bit hysterically, the queen asks what he’ll do if she does tell, saying that nobody would believe his outlandish story about swapped babies. She’s outraged that he would dare blackmail her when he doesn’t even have evidence.

“And if that child did not die but is alive?” Yoon-sung asks. “Then will the story change?” The queen’s eyes widen in horror. Yoon-sung holds her gaze levelly.

Ra-on and Yeong sit in their hideaway, and she says regretfully that she didn’t want to make more trouble for him. He tells her not to say that: “Before you and I knew even each other, our fates had already been entangled. So do not be sorry, or hurt.”

Ra-on points out that it’s late and asks if he doesn’t need to return to his palace. Reluctant to leave, Yeong says that the night is cloudy and moonless: “How can I walk that dark path alone? So I will just stay a little longer, then go.”

They hold each other’s gazes for amoment, until she looks back down and Yeong says, “Several times a day, I imagine what might have been if we had met in different circumstances. At least while we are here right now, where nobody knows, let’s look at each other without thinking about it. Ra-on-ah.”

At her name, Ra-on looks up at him. And like that, they sit there for long moments staring into each other’s eyes. Yeong’s face softens and he smiles, saying, “Tonight, I think I will sleep deeply for the first time in a long while.”

The king sits alone at his desk in his dark room, and a shadowy silhouette appears in the door. This must be a dream: Hong Kyung-rae appears with sword in hand, zooming supernaturally toward the king and raising his weapon with a roar. The blade slashes downward, and the king gasps awake in a cold sweat.

He rocks back and forth and screams for the prime minister to be summoned, his panic spurring him to move up Hong’s interrogation.

This is a concern for the rebels, who’d planned on having more time before the jailbreak. Once Hong Kyung-rae is moved for the special investigation, it will be much harder to break him out. Head Eunuch Han tells Byung-yeon that he was one who had their mole killed in prison, and that despite working together for years, emotions are a luxury when considering the cause. Their priority now is to break out their leader from prison.

Eunuch Han tells Byung-yeon to have Ra-on dress in disguise and wait in front of the palace gates, so that both can be smuggled out together.

Yeong visits Hong Kyung-rae before his interrogation, and asks him to clarify his earlier statement about a leader being appointed by the people—did he mean that he wanted a puppet king who would listen to the people’s appeals? Hong says no.

Yeong states that he also wants politics to be for the people, but doesn’t see how the people could choose a king to rule over them. Hong Kyung-rae explains that what he and his followers want is not merely a politics that is for the people, but by the people. Royals must consider themselves the sun, he says, selected by the heavens—absolute and shining. But what he wants is different: a king of the people who considers himself equal to the people. That is to say, a king who is a person.

Yeong takes this in, and Hong notes the irony of a person who dreams of being a person.

Yeong asks, “But why do you think that getting rid of the king is the only method?” Hong answers, “Because there is no king who can lay everything down on his own. You and I, noblemen and butchers, girls and boys, traitor’s children and king’s descendants. If you were to become king, could you allow for them to be equals?”

That’s a lot for Yeong to chew on, and he remains pensive. As guards arrive to transport Hong, Yeong says, “A leader established by the people is not the only one who considers the people precious. How could someone who considers each and every citizen precious ever denigrate them as dogs or pigs?”

Yeong declares, “The world I dream of and the world you dream of are not different. The only thing is how far we are from it now. I will come see you after the interrogation. It’s possible we may be able to find it without shedding blood—that path where we match our steps, heading toward the world we both dream of.” Damn, he’s good with the inspiring speeches. Hong’s face remains impassive, but I dearly hope the words make an impression.

It’s time for the king’s special interrogation, and the mood is grave as the relevant parties make their way there—the king, his entourage, the Kim faction, the rest of the ministers, Yeong.

Still in her prison garb, Ra-on waits at the appointed spot… and then is grabbed from behind. Gack! Again?

The king arrives to preside over the proceedings, and falters at the sight of Hong Kyung-rae, despite the man being tied up and injured. Prime Minister Kim begins the questions by explaining the charge of treason, and asks Hong to acknowledge it. Hong says he does not.

Prime Minister Kim states that there is a witness who can testify to Hong’s crimes, and the bloodthirsty king demands that the torture begin. Yeong, Eunuch Han, and Byung-yeon wear looks of dismay at this escalation, and this is the moment that Ra-on is brought in, having been caught by royal guards. With horror on her face, she watches her father being branded with a hot iron.

Prime Minister Kim threatens to give the death penalty immediately if Hong continues to lie, and asks if he admits to stirring up a rebellion that cost thousands of lives. At that, Hong says that if they’re equating treason to mean that rebellion, then he does acknowledge it. Moreover, he says that his accomplices are here right now.

This declaration causes alarmed looks all around. Hong declares that they are the people in power who imposed extreme taxes upon the people, then claimed most of that for themselves and fattened their own bellies while watching their people starve. He says that he led those poor people who were sustained by dreams of a new world, but it was the king who destroyed their hopes and livelihoods.

The king leaps up in outrage, but Hong Kyung-rae just cuts him off: “I am confessing.” That’s a satisfying moment, given how long we’ve had to watch this king snivel. Hong requests that those culprits be given the same sentence of execution as he will be given: “At least that much must happen for the blood of thousands of peasants to be repaid.”

Infuriated, the king screams the order to behead Hong instantly, and soldiers comply by drawing their swords. Yeong jumps to his feet and begs the king to rescind his order. All eyes turn to them as Yeong presses his father to calm down, telling him that the sentence can be decided after the interrogation is completed. The king looks around uncertainly, out of his depth.

Prime Minister Kim interjects to say that Yeong has a different reason, and chides him for showing his emotions at an official interrogation of a state criminal. Then he announces that rumors are rampant that the prince has been secretly communicating with the traitor’s daughter.

This is news to many, including the king, who demands an explanation. The prime minister asks Yeong to confirm or deny the rumor.

That’s when the prime minister orders Ra-on brought in. She’s dragged to the center of the proceedings to kneel by her father, and the prime minister identifies her as the daughter in question. Prime Minister Kim demands an answer out of Yeong: Was this the spy, and did he harbor her because he was in love with her?

Hong Kyung-rae insists that the court hold him accountable for his crimes, not her, because he has never properly even met the girl, who has nothing to do with any of this.

Prime Minister Kim tells Yeong to prove that he did not conspire with the rebels—by slashing Ra-on’s throat right now.

All this while, Yeong has remained silent, trapped by his position and unsure how to save anyone. He’s frozen in his dilemma while the king barks at him to act, and when Yeong doesn’t reply, the king orders his men to strike anyway.

As the soldiers swing into action, all time slows down as everyone—Yeong, Byung-yeon, Eunuch Han, Ra-on—looks on helplessly. Sound fades away, and Ra-on thinks, addressing Yeong, “From this moment, do not love me. Please remember me only as a traitor’s daughter. I do not wish to leave you with the terrible anguish of not being able to protect the woman you love.”

Yeong clenches his fist, and Ra-on closes her eyes. The soldier raises his sword…

Yeong grabs for Byung-yeon’s sword to intervene, but he only gets it halfway out its sheath before something else happens—suddenly half of the soldiers turn on their own, cutting them down from behind. Aha, they must be the rebels, and the scene erupts into a loud clash that soon stalls in impasse.

Soldiers and rebels face off, swords drawn. It’s a little difficult knowing who’s on which side, and Yeong looks confused as he tries to make sense of things.

Byung-yeon positions himself in front of the prince protectively, sword drawn and facing the others, but as the impasse stretches on, a flurry of expressions fly across his conflicted face.

Finally, with a reluctant grimace, he whirls around—and holds his sword to Yeong’s neck. Mouths drop in shock.

Byung-yeon orders everybody to stand down if they want to save the prince’s life.

Yeong stares at his friend, struggling to register his betrayal. “Byung-yeon-ah,” he says.

 
COMMENTS

Nooooo, Byung-yeon, don’t you go breaking my heart too! *sniff* *choke* *wails* Life is hard enough without you turning on each other!

I do follow Byung-yeon in this moment, since the show has been building up this internal conflict for a long time, showing Byung-yeon caught between his loyalties to the cause and to his friend. It hurts not only because it’s a betrayal of Yeong, but because we had seen that all series long, when pressed Byung-yeon always chose the prince—not necessarily over the cause, but he seemed to be willing to compromise in the little moments. I do respect that unflinching lack of compromise displayed by men like Hong Kyung-rae and Head Eunuch Han, because great change needs leaders to hold steady and make sacrifices along the way, but I never saw Byung-yeon as that kind of person. I saw him more as the alternate version of Dad that Ra-on and her mother longed for, the man who could believe noble thoughts but live for his family’s happiness.

So it’s a meaningful shift to have him reach that rock-and-a-hard-place moment, and finally have to choose, and I can respect that he picked the cause despite looking a little like he hated himself for it. I do wish the show had spent a little more time building up Byung-yeon’s thought process so that this final switch had a little more narrative momentum, because while I understand intellectually exactly what happened, I didn’t really know why it happened now. It would have landed with more impact if something had happened to demonstrate just why he had to divorce himself from the idea that the prince was his friend; his traitor boss reminded him of that yesterday, but I didn’t really feel why that was true. I wish the show had pitted him in direct ideological conflict with Yeong, or forced his hand a different way that explained why he made this choice in this moment. Basically, if you’re going to rip my heart out, I want you to really do it good and proper—why leave it bruised when you could leave it shredded and bleeding?

(I’m still holding out for a last-minute revelation in the next episode to show us a twist, but for now, there’s nothing to do but go with what the show has shown us. My hope is alive, but knows better than to get too confident.)

I was dearly hoping today’s episode would be the turnaround that I was dying for, but found myself disappointed again by episode’s end. It’s not that the show logic-failed on me, or had characters acting out of character, or went off the rails—nothing so dire as that. But today kind of felt like every Episode 16 of every Joseon fusiony sageuk I’ve seen in the past six or seven years, and as such felt extremely paint-by-numbers: political machinations, claims of treason, noble victims, torture, prison, tribunals and interrogations and gloaty ministers. Basically, it made this drama feel ordinary, without the magic that has made this show so special in prior weeks.

That doesn’t mean this show has suddenly become bad, and as ever, the strong directorial hand really elevates things. The moment when all goes silent as Ra-on braces for death, and the vocals start in without instrumentation—that was a spine-tingly great beat. Any moment that hinged on strong emotional acting was well-executed (even when I didn’t like what was necessarily happening plotwise). Hong Kyung-rae’s righteous defense in the torture chair was another highlight, and part of why it was so effective for me was that it was a melding of the personal and the political, which is the best kind of political. (The rest of the political maneuvering was cold and strategic, and thus less compelling.) And it was definitely encouraging that Yeong found a common ground that nobody else could see, providing hope that where swords and coups and plots fail, his brains might succeed in finding a solution.

But even so, I feel like the dip is distinct and disappointing because the she show has spoiled me by always delivering at least one really rewarding emotional exchange or development per episode. It doesn’t matter if that gratification is happy or sad, since sadness can pull the heartstrings effectively when done well, but today it started feeling like we were spinning our wheels a bit. And I involuntarily laughed out loud when Yeong and Ra-on ran into each other again, despite the epic, tearful, final goodbyes they’d already exchanged multiple times. (Speaking of comical repetition, must we have Ra-on abducted from behind in every other episode? I love this girl as a person, but I am getting mighty exasperated with her role as a character; her narrative purpose has suffered greatly as the show has progressed, and now her narrative function is almost only ever bait, trap, or object of affection. I just want her to do something active again. I would even prefer her doing something careless or dangerous to doing nothing and getting bounced around as plot device, although really, those can’t be our only choices. Resourceful, witty, sly, stealthy, helpful—any of those things are vastly preferable.)

I’m bummed that this week killed some of that extra something special in my heart, because without that bit of magic, I feel like all the little flaws suddenly seem more jarring, more noticeable. There’s a Korean saying about how being in love is like having bean chaff lodged in your eyes, i.e., blinders on to flaws, and I feel like something this week pushed me past the tipping point and shook the bean chaff away, and it’s changed the way I look at the show a bit. I’m still clinging to my hopes as we head into the final week, because we’re so close to the end and I’d rather be optimistic about it reaching a satisfying conclusion. I’m looking forward to that happy ending we’re totally getting next week, where Yeong and Ra-on live blissfully together forever and the bad guys are punished and all of the happy relationships are restored. I will accept no other realities.

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FINALLY, we have some proper conversation between Raon and Yeong, but could the puppies be more self-aware of how dangerous the situation is? For just the two of them walk from prison to Jahyeondang like that? I was screaming that someone bound to see them, seriously. And once again, we have our Moon Cloud metaphor, YeongOn little retreat from the real world just for a moment

Hayeon heartbreak after realisation was beautiful, just hope she does not turn to the dark side

Once again, Yonnsung proven to be at the right place, right time, just to spare Raon’s life a little longer.

Indeed, Gyeong Nae vision of the world and Yeong vision of the world is similar, where people can live as human beings, equally. Love that proposal from Yeong, maybe we can figure it all out without bloodshed and walk toward that dream country

Thumps up for papa Hong confession, that he admitted treason but his accomplices are the yangban and the King, whom cornered the commoners. He might not been a good father, but he wanted the better for his children, and he has good visions as a leader.

And I give probs to the actor that played King, because I was damn frustrated at the King, like srsly? U know Kim clan manipulate you, yet you call for PM Kim every single time you have nightmare or problem? Not gona consult your son or maybe call your in-law Jo for advise instead, how much you pressed for political support with that wedding yet you not gona rely/use it? Really wished that he could have gone on a long vacation or something, instead of letting his fear, anger, frustration consumed him and order those beheading commands

OMG!!! I CAN’T

I JUST CAN’T

That freaking banjun ending….

I thought Raon was dragged the magical Yoonsung but nooo, she was captured, guess she finally runs out of luck. And her inner monologue was damn sad. And is it just me that it seemed like Yeong had some back up plan? Because there’s that subtle change in his stare, like determine(?) or the you-think-I-cant-get-out-of-this look?, idk, just for a second, I thought Yeong would spill some dark secrets to resolve that big mess.

And just when our 3 musketeers about to let the cat out of bag to protect Raon, the rebels initiated the action, and Byeong Yeon used Yeong as hostage? Nooooo, I can see Yeong’s trust and heart just crumpled down right there. YS and RO were bewildered. But that was the best option wasn’t it? To minimise any bloodshed and fatality.

But Im glad that the drama picked itself up this episode, at least for me, it did. However, I notice that some camerawork has dropped in quality, like there was a shoot of Hayeon closeup side profile, when she visited Yeong at his palace, and in that shoot, her face was kinda distorted? Idk, it just didn’t seem right and I’m not the nitpicking type, so that surprised me. But still, the quality of this episode is still up there.

This is the episode that get me super teary and dropped a tear or two (Im not that easy to...

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This is the episode that get me super teary and dropped a tear or two (Im not that easy to cry with drama/movie so this episode really touched me)

Now, how will this situation resolve, and in such a way that YeongOn can officially be together with Yeong status intact? Not to mention, I’m super worried for BY and YS here, I feel like the chance for one of them to sacrifice at this scene is so damn high, especially BY.
WHYYYYYY show? WHYYYYY? You has always been nice to us with your fairy ending TT.TT why isn’t Moonday yet???
P.S: rating is up, AGB: 18.8%

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I think Byung Yeon did what he did for people to stop doubting Yeong.
As Premier Kim said, he/they think that Yeong planned the rebellion with Ra On. By doing that, he's practically freeing Yeong from that suspicion and influcting it all on the rebels...

Despite of his reason though, my heart still broke into thousand pieces.

*off to tape together my heart*

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That's actually pretty true!

There is no way that Yeong could possibly leave that scene w/out damaging himself - physically and politically. Whatever his intentions may be (though I feel like BY's actions always makes sense upon closer look), he shifted the court's judgments away from Yeong towards himself.

BY's act was already a sacrifice in itself for me. He may not have been physically hurt, but I think that he personally felt like he betrayed his own set of values and principles. You can heal your body, but it's harder to fix a broken relationship and spirit.

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Regarding the situation, I also think he made the right decision, the only one that would protect Ra-on and Yeong.

I don't think that there was really treason in his act, more like the last gift he could give to his friend while he is still able to do something to protect him. The situation was a mess and he took the decision to look bad in front of Yeong to save him. I am not worried, Yeong is smart, he will figure it out on his own.

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It'll probably prevent a bloodbath too.

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I agree.

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Right on! Totally how I saw it.

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My thoughts exactly! For me when Yeong said his name it felt more like " why are you taking the blame for me". He made it looked like he was the traitor so he can save both the CP, RO and Rebels. He sacrificed his self for a greater cause. Also I don't see the head eunuch as traitor. Infact all these time he's been protecting the prince. He had seen both sides.. the Evil clan, King side and the rebels and I think he sided with the rebels because just like what he said to BY, the kings he served are too weak and he had lost hope on them. Wasn't he the one who said when did Riot brought peace?

But for some reason I felt like this episode should have done on ep 14 or 15. And I was hoping that Yeong and RO's reunion could have been a little bit romantic. Like when they were talking in the attic. They could have at least hold each other's hands.

And this episode also reassures Yeong that RO is not a spy for the rebels...not that he ever doubted her sincerity.

I know for the Koreans viewers, following the historical facts is important but the PD of this drama emphasized from the start that this Drama is fictional. So I am really hoping that they clean up all the angst on the first 15 minutes of ep 17 and give us the magic that they've been giving us for the past 13 episodes. I am excluding the last 3.

I absolutely cannot accept any ending aside from CP and RO living happily ever after in the palace where their story began.

And hoping that they will not follow TMETS ending which gave the viewers 10 minutes of happiness on the last episode.

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AT first , i thought it was a betrayal, but looking at it again, BY sacrificed himself for the prince. That's the only way he can save Ra-On and also the Prince. That scene was one of the saddest in this episode.

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I wasn't saddened by Byeong Yeon's last act a bit. I thought it was brilliant, and the only thing he could do to stop all the madness, and protect Ra On (as he had been told to do by the head eunuch).
'Desperate times call for desperate measures.'

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This drama is getting boring for sme reasons..since last few eps.but still continue wstching ..jus wanna know wht happen next..i think i'm dropping it....and i like watching scarlet heart more..sorry PBG..

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If there was anything I would not attribute to Episode 16, it's the word "boring". From beginning to end, I was at the edge of my seat, with an all-time high of adrenaline rush!

Are sure you watched the same episode?

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I was hoping he would voluntary chop Raon's head by himself, but later turned to Prime Minister Kim and stab him from his side. But then, again, that would be really risky and he only has himself (I'm not sure if I have to count Byungyeon in).
I didn't expect it at all.

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Me too. Only, I can't imagine what the consequences might be, if death is such an easy solution, we wouldn't have to spend so much time building up the suspense of the revelation of Ra-on's identity.

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I agree. That's the most reasonable choice. The Palace people cannot afford CP to get hurt. If BY didn't do it, then CP will still be the one in a bad position to choose between RO and his opportunity to change Joseon

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I think (well, it's more of a wishful thinking! XD) that when Yeong heard Gyeong Nae's statement that a leader is someone chosen by the people, there was something in Yeong's eyes that hinted a glimpse of a plan (clever boy). And when he said that he will meet him after the interrogation to talk of a bloodless truce, he seems to already have thought of something...

And I hope that he plans to make the people choose a leader w/out him having to abdicate the throne...

by having the people choose his queen! XD I'm sure the people would be glad to be able to choose the Mother of The Nation. It's a win-win situation! (well, except for Choi Soo Bin's character)

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I don't know. Yeong tends to be ambitious but so far we haven't seen him done anything solid to prove himself other than outwitting his enemies that wish to trap him. So when he said to Hong Kyung-rae he'd see him after the interrogation, I thought he simply meant to say he wish to continue the talk, doesn't look like he has any grand plan to save him.

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Yeong saying "see you after the interrogation" was the ultimate kdrama jinx against any chance of Hong Kyung Rae going back there whatsoever... I'm not even sure he'll make it out alive. The king was ready to kill him right away (urgh!). As reckless as it was for Ra On to go into the palace to meet Dad in this episode, that was probably her only chance to do so.

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Yeah, and since she's been really passive for the past 2 weeks, I kinda welcome this determination in her, at least she's doing something risky and worthwhile, instead of sitting around waiting to be kidnapped again.

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I thought the reunion between Ra On and her Dad was very well done. Much more tear inducing than the bazillionth time Ra On and the CP reunited.

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Haha. Again, if they didn't go through that silly dramatic separation yesterday, perhaps it'd have been really moving to see the OTP reunite. Also, the father and daughter never met (maybe they've spent times together before but she was too small to remember it) and converse, so the reunion is extra special for them, especially when he's locked up and they're powerless to do anything about it.

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"Hayeon heartbreak after realisation was beautiful, just hope she does not turn to the dark side"

I felt bad for her before, but today, she annoyed me greatly. I get that she's processing this information and probably had to nurse her broken heart as well, but when she tried to discredit the myth of the bracelet and implied that she's his wife now, I get annoyed. >_> Especially when she went into the garden when Yeong asked her not to. Come on, that's invasion girl!

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I didn't take it as she tried to discredit the myth of the bracelets at all, but I'm watching it with English subtitles so it's possible that my interpretation is off.

I think she was simply trying to lighten up the mood in that conversation. She knew the meaning behind the bracelets, and she knew Yeong was in pain, so she tried to come up with a white lie to ease Yeong's mind. Both she and Yeong knew that attempt didn't work. But, you know, we don't reach up our hands thinking we will touch the sky.

I wasn't sure what to make of her garden "invasion" but it didn't annoy me at all. I was actually appalled when Yeong requested that of her. Coming from Ha Yeon's point of view, she had no reasonable explanation to be treated so curtly like that.

I guess Ha Yeon had really won me over after her scene with her dad last episode (probably because I'm also a daddy's girl). I'm #teamHaYeon through and through, not in the sense that I ship her with Yeong, just that I sympathize with her hardship and I root for her happiness. She had done nothing wrong to deserve her miserable fate. It's just something she was born into, like the rest of our youngins. I would love for her to become on friendlier terms with Yeong. She's a perfectly intelligent and reasonable person, and I truly think she can be his good ally in the palace.

This is the first time ever I got the Second Female Lead Syndrome, and I love Moonlight all the more for it!

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Maybe discredit is too strong of a word, call its bluff then? For someone who knows perfectly well her feelings aren't returned, and the man in question already told her so and warned her, I kinda wish she won't be delusional anymore. Yeong admitted he has someone he loves, and I don't think she should be surprised, even if the girl in question was his eunuch. Regarding the invasion, Princess Myung-eun did tell her that's the place where Yeong likes to be alone, regardless of the real significance of that place to Yeong, when he asked her not to come into the place anymore, I expect her to respect his wish. I genuinely come to like her as a character and wish for her happiness, but I don't want her to expect Yeong to return her feelings and hope for something more simply because they made the "deal".

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For Hayeon's sake and her heart, I wish she'd just treat this as a deal which is exactly what she said to Yeong. Attempting to or seeking for something more, even as simple as have him look her way/have her noticed by him, is only going to crush her and she's already crushed because boy is only looking at one woman. I think now what she's doing is just self-induced pain. Yeong was crystal clear from the beginning. She knows what she's getting into and agreed to it wholeheartedly because it's for her family and she thought down the line something may change in Yeong which I hope by now is clear to her that it won't happen.

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That's the thing I really hate about dramaland characters, why is it so hard to accept that no means no? If this is in real life, I'd get embarrassed by the rejection and retreat to a corner.

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Yeong didn't take Ra On's no as no for an entire episode and we didn't mind ;) It just has to be the right character being persistent to make viewers happy, right?

@Celine Agreed on Ha Yeon is causing herself pain at this point. Hopefully that scene in the forbidden garden marked the end of it, and she would just move on as an ally instead of lingering hope. If only pesky feelings can be gotten rid of that cleanly, ever.

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mehungie, you're totally right, I didn't think of it way. But to be fair, Yeong's persistence is justified because we, as viewer see both sides of the story, and we didn't mind because Ra-on is in love with him, if she didn't then she wouldn't let him kiss her the first time. But the case with Ha-yeon is different, we know Yeong isn't in love with her and he made that absolutely clear to her as well, so we see that as more of annoyance then persistence. Or maybe it's just me.

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That makes total sense maryxiah. I do like how crystal clear Yeong has always been to her. It's really down to Ha Yeon to release herself from her false hopes.

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She really ain't trying to ease Yeong's pain with that "white lie" though, because from her expression and tone she's clearly trying to dismiss the importance of the bracelets.

Regarding to the garden invasion, from Hayeon's POV it may have been a shock to be asked not to ever enter the garden again, but seriously, if someone asks you not to enter the premise, DON'T! From Yeong's POV, he suffered from a major heartbreak that day and when someone else other than Raon enters the garden it's a serious intrusion of his memories with her, so his tone was definitely harsh, but not uncalled for, IMO.

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I totally read her tone differently. I saw it as this awkward "laugh it off" when you don't know what else to say in a conversation. Maybe my personal social awkwardness is clouding my judgment :P

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I don't think that Ha Yeon herself believed in that "white lie." So she awkwardly tried to make a joke, "merchants these days, ha ha" but she didn't really mean it.

Remember, it was Ha Yeon who told Ra On about the meaning behind the bracelets, and she even identified herself in the kind of people who believed in those myths back then.

The fact that she noticed the bracelets, and then the lack of the bracelet, and how it's the bracelets that confirmed YeongOn relationship in her head--all that proves that Ha Yeon truly believes in that eternal binding spell. Well, don't we all?

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It's ok mehungie, we all are entitled to our own opinion and we can see things differently even from the same scene. When I saw that, I guess my emotions might cloud my judgment as well, I'm partial to Yeong so anything unfair/subject him to pain, pains me as well. When she said the myth is invented story, I felt the stab for Yeong because this is the guy that cried in the solitary room over the bracelet his lover left. And the bracelet kept remind us how much he wants to hold onto that love and protective of it. So I guess I couldn't accept it when Ha-yeon tried to dismiss it in front of Yeong.

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when she saw that LY wasn't wearing the bracelet, my impression was like...did she think that he took off the bracelet for her and he doesn't care about RO anymore? Well she was wrong. She told RO that she will hide her feelings so she can stay by CP's side for now and eventually one day he will recognize and acknowledge her feelings for him even after knowing that he is in love with someone else she still thinks this way. She wanted this marriage for her self..maybe to help him but more for her since she's inlove with him.

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@yvette same thoughts! I honestly don't find her agreement to the marriage SUPER sacrificial because a big part of it is also for herself. She wants to have him. And there's this happy glint in her eyes when she saw that the bracelet was off.

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I went back to watch the scene, I'd say the look in her eyes when she noticed the bracelet missing was a mix of surprise and worry. The only happy glint I could see was in a flashback scene right then.

Her entering the garden did stand out as an odd scene. It didn't bother me at first but you guys' reasoning all makes sense. Hopefully there's a good explanation coming up for it next week.

She knows she has no chance to win his heart. She even knew who were the owner of each bracelet, but perhaps she couldn't bring herself to put two and two together until it was widely known that eunuch Hong was a girl. The marriage means she signed up to be neglected for life. She even knew she needed to mask her feelings for him to make him consider it. Though she doesn't realistically have any other option at this point, she's still willingly putting herself through uncalled for hardship for the sake of Yeong.

As for her silly speech on how she's already treated as a crown princess, maybe that's another kdrama jinx and we won't have to deal with that marriage. Maybe that's why it was in the talks for so many episodes but never made progress, gah. The nice thing is Papa Jo had already gotten our Crown Prince's back lately, so Ha Yeon had already done her deeds for him.

I can't believe how much I've written about her already lol. For how much she's counted on Ra On as a friend/counselor, I hope we'll get to see Ha Yeon return the favor next week.

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You are so right... and RO specifically sanctioned her "contract" - since she couldn't be with Yeong. Sorry but the previous episode (15) was very poor, it was generic sageuk and missed too many opportunities to have RO do something active; it even missed perfect opportunities to have a moving emotional scene with Yeong that would not only be spine tingly but develop our insight into their love. Like an earlier contributor, I am beginning to feel this has fizzled out and the ending will fail to be truly inspirational or satisfy.

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I'm wondering when this king will die since on the other side we have 2 kings dead already ?
It's a wonder how he's still alive being that paranoid. I guess being useless works wonders ?

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Because on the other side, they're a family of manipulative conniving people, who are ready to throw each other off the cliff just to get to the throne. But here the king is without siblings to take the throne, and his son loves him to death, his only problem is the people and his ministers, but despite their whole grand plans, no one manage to overthrone him yet. King Sunjo FTW!

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And Yeong is not one to kill his father just because he is ineffectual. And Yeong himself is not greedy to take the throne. He offered help to his father which of course Dad, being deranged and all, did not take up and still seeks Premier Kim's help. Aigoo.

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Yeong is not one to kill ANYBODY. He isn't greedy for the throne because no one is fighting him for it, even with the birth of the new prince, he's still the one in line for the throne. He's been raised comfortably as the crown prince, so I get why he's full of ideals and dreams for the nation but lack of a sense of reality, that's why people like Teacher Dasan and Hong Kyung-rae influence him a lot, because he hasn't been exposed to their experience and thoughts as the people/commoner. I like it when he learn life-long lessons from them and mature along the way, Yeong is such an inspirational character.

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He will never die, he's immortal despite his flaws lolz
Or at least, he won't die during the course of this drama

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Your thoughts on the king are epic, and damn true. LOL!

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"I notice that some camerawork has dropped in quality, like there was a shoot of Hayeon closeup side profile, when she visited Yeong at his palace, and in that shoot, her face was kinda distorted?"

Weird, Anh. I went and re-watched that scene but I couldn't find what you were talking about. But I do notice that they tend to blur out the surrounding when they focus the shot on one person. So perhaps, Ha-yeon was blurred out to focus on Yeong's expression?

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thank you for the recap, 2 more episodes to go

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Ok, after watching this episode, I just remember the prophecy about the crown prince that he may be timid but he is in fact courageous and that he will die young. That scene showed CP and YS clothes but they did not show the child byung hun's clothes. Did the fortune teller have mistakenly thought that the child byung hun was the CP? Oh, this is just a speculatiom because I think one of the three will really die but i hope I am wrong.

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I don't think the fortune teller would have mistaken which one is the crown prince, but I'm curious how that prophecy will come into play later because they wouldn't do that just to toy with us right?

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I cannot imagine how the writers can kill Yeong at the end and have YS as the new king. YS never wanted to be king. On top of that, how can a grandson of the traitor to become King? If the writers decide to kill Yeong then who can replaces him. RO's dad cannot be king since he is a rebel in the first place. The other palace official especially Minister Jo would never pledge their support. And don't forget they are still under the Quing control. They will never approved of him as the new King.The writers would have come up with a person that worthy to replace Yeong as the new King. They cannot leave the ending in such a cliffhanger where the current king is such a weak person. He annoyed me so much, up to the point that i want to use YS last bullet to put him out of his miserable life. And what about all the promises that Yeong made. If he dies, who is gonna fullfil those promises. I think the writers just want to toy with us. But I am also curious to see how the prophecy will come into play. I am anxious waiting for the ending. I hope the writers will not let us down by giving us a sad, incomplete ending. That would ruin the entire drama.

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This is what i thought, too. So I am now not sure if the face reader's prophecy about the CP is true since I can't imagine Yeong will die but maybe....just maybe he he either had a mistake of reading another's face or he is just wrong. I tried to rewatch that scene and the focus is yoonsung's clothes and a bit of focus on young CP's face and the young BY just on the side.
I love their friendship and I don't want any of them to die but I don't think they will not show that scene if there is no purpose.

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Okay! i think i am obsessed in this plot and i am thinking if the drama will have a flashback while the face reader saw them in different robes...they exchanged robes for a while and that Was what the face reader saw, YS and CP in exchanged wardrobes? We have seen the CP disguising so often in this drama. sorry for being crazy here because i really do not wnat them to die and it is killing me guessing how they will end this in a happy note. They still have so questions to answer and it is making me crazy how they will end this without no one dying.

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Yeong will pull a Kang Chul and will refuse the fate of death. He will prove fate and all face readers that his destiny does not lie on his features, but on his decisions and actions.

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But even Kang Chul couldn't change the law of the universe (in manhwa) and someone had to die in order for him to achieve his happy ending, I hope that won't be the case in Moonlight, I'd hate to see any one of them die.

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Oh damn... but... well the only reason why Dad and KC were tied together was because Dad gave his face to the villain and the villain and the main character are linked. If the same case is to be used here, if Yeong lives, the villains die. No one else. Yes. This is what I will believe in. LOL

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You brought up a good point about being under Qing's control, I totally forgot about that. Maybe that's why nobody dared to overthrown the king yet for this very reason, they wouldn't want to upset the relationship between both countries and launch a war.

We can only hope the king will honor his word, to be Yeong's father and support him in times of need, step down from the throne and let Yeong be the king. That way, we can see him fully reform the court and the system, maybe even pardon the rebels and finally allow the changes to be made so he can make Ra-on his queen consort.

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Umm… ok. Wow. I need to gather my thoughts and umm… put them into coherent words. Still angsty episode, but with heavier political machination and rebel plot, which I totally welcome because it’s been long time coming and I wanted this to come sooner, but not at the expense of our OTP’s relationship development. Because this show has been great establishing their relationship/love beyond puppy love and first love, we come to see how much their love blossomed into mutual understanding and deep connection, and we identified with their pain and longing to be together. Funny how this show completely shed its youth sageuk image, I don’t think I’m watching teenage love story anymore, I’m completely invested in the future these kids pave on their own.

Today is not a good day to be the crown prince. As if being broken hearted isn’t enough, he had to face 3 of his biggest fears all at once.
1. Choose his father over the love of his life
2. Save the love of his life and be implicated of treason
3. Betrayal from his closest buddy

I have to comment on the last scene first because that's definitely today’s highlight. Today’s episode is heavy and somber in mood, but it made me feel a rush of adrenaline when everyone's fate rides on Yeong's one decision. Yeong was totally cornered this time with no way out, but I don’t mind it at all. Because we’ve seen Yeong outwitted his opponent time and time again, but we never really felt that danger for him, we relied on his quick wit every time and felt that he’d survive no matter what. But today, I felt that danger for him, how ugly the lies painted as truth on him, how his decision will hurt everyone he loves regardless of his choice, his anxiety, and his powerlessness. That’s why the moment Byung-yeon stepped out and inflicted himself by outing himself as a traitor (Kim Hyung~), I was overjoyed and terrified at the same time. I understand he did that to protect Yeong and the rebels. But from Yeong’s point of view, Byung-yeon only confirmed Yeong’s worst fear, which he didn’t want to acknowledge before—Byung-yeon’s betrayal. The look on Yeong’s face when he said, “Byung-yeon ah”, I’m relieving the stabbing scene all over again. Ugh, not pretty.

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I've wanted Yeong to be confronted with choice 1 & 2 for a long time now, partly because I’m curious what choice will he make. I’m sure we have no qualm his choice will always be Ra-on, but we have no way of making sure of that unless the situation presents itself to us and we view the reality in closer stand. I felt deeply for Yeong in that moment, watching his father descended into madness because of anxiety (Why does the king always go cuckoo?) in one hand, and his lover on the verge of death in another. When he tried to draw the sword and stop Ra-on’s execution, I’m sure we all think of it as a natural derived decision, but for me, the pain he went through in that split second to override every emotion to save her, that gets to me the most. I love how in that moment, Ra-on looked at Yeong and said in her heart, which I’m also sure he felt it by heart: “Your highness, from this moment on, please stop loving (she used the word 사랑 here instead of 연모, why is that?) me. Please remember me only as the daughter of a traitor. I don’t want to leave you with the horrible pain of not being able to save the woman you love.” Oof, that word slayed me. Yeong told Ra-on once that it pained him he couldn’t protect the people he loves (i.e. his mother) because he was weak, and he knew he had to be strong in order to protect the one he loves in the future. Now Yeong has to confront that fear all over again and he’s still as powerless as he was, I have to commend Ra-on for recognizing that this is Yeong’s greatest anguish. It isn't the fact that he might lose her, it’s the fact that he couldn’t do anything to stop it.

I get why everyone is so adamant that Ra-on did the right thing by being cruel to make a clean break with Yeong yesterday, while I do understand her motivation behind it, I couldn't rationalize her decision. Mainly because I think they're better than this, isn't this the couple that have mutual understanding and respect for one another? Why would they need to resort to ugly separation? Just like how everyone felt the need to justify Ra-on's action, I felt the need to explain it from Yeong's position as well. I don't think Yeong was being irrational with his request to meet her, he knew she’d be leaving soon, and without a proper goodbye (because she never gave him a chance), of course he’d feel compelled to see her again. When he requested to meet, I thought he simply wanted to have a proper farewell, to say what he has to say and to hear what she has to say, but Ra-on, despite her good intention, denied him of a proper goodbye by pulling that stunt, which is why I couldn’t come to terms with what she did. Understanding something and accepting something are 2 different things.

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While it may seem foolish, I love the consistency in Yeong’s character. We know he’s an emotionally driven person, so whatever decision he makes, we always chalk it up to him being rash and impulsive. I don't think that Yeong is too emotional to register the danger they’re in, and it may seem like he isn’t considering the consequences of his action, but I believe it is because he's a very strong-willed person and refuse to accept what the world throws at him (he reminds me so much of Kang Chul). He sees a goal and he charges forward, he may falter but he's always undeterred. If it wasn’t for his persistency, I don't think it'd be possible for his fate to intertwine with Ra-on's, it’s actually his unwavering faith that paved the way for them, because knowing Ra-on’s passive nature, I’m sure she’d settled watching and loving him from afar. I'm glad that Yeong is a man that doesn't settle and actively be the author of his own fate, I admire him for that. “Many times a day, I keep imagining what would have been if we had met under different circumstances. In a place where no one knows, in this moment, let’s face each other without thinking of anything else, Ra-on ah.” From that speech alone, I get the sense that Yeong understand perfectly well of their predicament. He might not be behaving rationally, but he sure knows what he's doing, and I'd like to believe in him even if no one else will. That's why I couldn't blame him for wanting to see Ra-on, or find excuses to linger around her, because I totally understand him.

On to another point, I'm glad that the truth finally dawned on Ha-yeon. While it's true I feel bad for her, I don't like the way she implied to Yeong she's his wife now, mostly because my YeongOn ship alert was blaring, but also because I felt like she refused to accept the truth. Yeah, yeah, I know she needs time registering, but I don't have the luxury of time to dwell on her. And she tried to disillusion Yeong by saying the myth of the bracelet is a sham, I don't like using the myth of the bracelet to tie up Yeong and Ra-on's fate too, but I felt like Yeong wanted to believe in it so bad I couldn't bear to see anyone contradict him on it. (Side note: OMG! He said he was storing the bracelet somewhere else. Does that mean he picked up the beads after? That sounds so sad!) Also, I was angry that she went into the garden when Yeong specifically told her not to. Wth girl, I felt invaded, it's silly but I think of the garden as a sacred place too.

I know essentially our three male leads are on 3 different sides, but can't they come together and fight the world together already? I feel like I'm high and dry waiting for my bromance to come. While I'm happy Kim Hyung finally gets a chance to shine, I'm not happy that he had to stand on the crossroad with Yeong. Why is it so hard to have a fulfilling bromance in this drama?

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you must have a lot to say on this episode :)

I understand BY action though, that is the way to minimise damage from both party. But I do want our 3 musketeers to work together and solve this mess

that sarang and yeonmu also pipped my interest, is it because it's her monologue that it's easier to use sarang?(like grammar and speech rule or something) or is there something to that?

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as I know yeonmu is the speech of palace, the words the royalty used back in the day,
they don't use sarang but Ra-on is a commoner so she used the word

*please correct me if I am wrong

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Anh, I was actually drawing blank when I first watched this episode, I felt disconnected. But when I watch the second time, all came rushing to me and I still have a lot to say, lol. I'm refraining.

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I might be reading too much into it, but when she said 사랑 instead of 연모, I felt weird, lol. Like so out of place.

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I think this all summed into
reality (ofc the era) vs the expectation (of people from this era)
and
young life vs mature life

there's a reason why history repeated themselves, it mainly because not many people believed what happen outside the era they are living,
the mutual understanding of yeong and ra-on happen without weight from other things but when the scale is wider, it becomes harder,
what ra-on said becomes reality and we also believe in yeong's dream

I was reading something yesterday that said
being grown up is like grows taller enough to reach the cookie jar, found it was empty

the cookie jar is always on the table, we just never had to pay the responsibility or faced the real reason on why the cookie is in the jar
so it's really growing up stories when teens face the reality that it's hard, reality has bills, before and today

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Mhm, I get what you mean, which is unusual, because no offense, sometimes I couldn't understand what you type, lol. It's a shame that the kids are learning the reality in a hard way, dashing all their hopes and dreams at the same time, but I'm still hoping for them to weather this together.

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@marryxiah
yeah T.T . . . I typed in rush a lot of time, with phone, in between real life conversation so I acknowledge that it hardly makes sense after I read it the second time,

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No, no. I totally understand, it's hard to type over the phone, which is why I always comment on this site whenever I'm in front of the computer.

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wow thank you for taking the time to write this all out. Felt the same way and at some points I felt like I'm able to view certain aspects of the drama better. Nodding all the way. And yes what is wrong with HY invading CP's privacy as she always does and trespassing the garden even after being told sternly not to. gosh.

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every word <3

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"And I involuntarily laughed out loud when Yeong and Ra-on ran into each other again, despite the epic, tearful, final goodbyes they’d already exchanged multiple times."

Exactly, it wasn't played out for comedy, but I felt embarrassed for them! How awkward is this when they had the tearful goodbye just yesterday!

(Speaking of comical repetition, must we have Ra-on abducted from behind in every other episode? I love this girl as a person, but I am getting mighty exasperated with her role as a character; her narrative purpose has suffered greatly as the show has progressed, and now her narrative function is almost only ever bait, trap, or object of affection. I just want her to do something active again. I would even prefer her doing something careless or dangerous to doing nothing and getting bounced around as plot device, although really, those can’t be our only choices. Resourceful, witty, sly, stealthy, helpful—any of those things are vastly preferable.)"

Yeah, I thought ep. 12 might be a turning point for her, because she was the first to find out about her identity, and I was hoping she'd take the wheel for her own fate. I mean, I get why she had to resort to doing all the things she did, I just don't get why she lost sight of herself. Where did that spunky, resourceful girl in ep 1 go?

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Ha, I wonder if they were more embarrassed meeting (a day?) after that dramatic bracelet cutting scene.

It reminded me of this meme:
https://memegenerator.net/instance/61381079

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Haha! Thanks for the meme, Kayak. I need a dose of laughter after today's episode. My head hurts.

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The political heavy episode made me find humor in their conversation to get rid of the dull:

Yeong met Ra-on’s father: Seja jeoha, meet your future father-in-law. Hong ajusshi, meet your future son-in-law.

Yeong told Ra-on’s father he lost something precious because of him: No, no, jeoha. Don’t be rude to him. He’s your future father-in-law.

Ra-on’s father said that the leader must be chosen by the people: Wow, democracy in Joseon?

Yeong said Ra-on should meet the person she miss: Well, at least YOU get to see the person you miss.

Yeong met Ra-on for the first time after yesterday’s breakup scene: Well, this is awkward.

Yeong met Ra-on’s father again: Seja jeoha, Teacher Dasan was just a tester, this is the real deal. Better appeal to your girl’s father.

Ra-on's father asked them to execute the king and corrupt ministers with him: Now now Hong ajusshi, this is your in-laws family we’re talking about. No matter how cruel they are, you can’t go around saying you want to die with them.

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in indeed funny, hahahaha thanks

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"Yeong met Ra-on for the first time after yesterday’s breakup scene: Well, this is awkward."

I really blurted out, "Awkwarddd" when they faced each other hahahaha! After yesterday's episode, we got a wonderful honest YeongOn moment in this episode. I loved that scene of them sitting and just staring hidden away from the rest.

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Me too, Celine! I love it when they do scenes like this. Why couldn't the breakup scene ends amicably like this?! It wasn't so hard right? And I love how Yeong appealed to Ra-on that they stay in that moment while it lasts, because life is short, we need every minute we have!

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Am I the only one who thought that Séjà Jeoha meant something more intimate than just looking at each other while "hidden from the world in that room?" Especially when he looked at her full of longing and then smiled and said, " I can finally sleep well tonight?" :):):)

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Haha, revive of thrist squad even in the midst of angsty episode.

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( ´◑_◐`) (´◑_◐`)
( ◑ _◑ ) ( ◐ _◐ )
( 。--_--。) ( ≡_≡; )
(⁄ ⁄•⁄_⁄• ⁄) ( ゜□゜ ○)
\( ◑ _◑ )_ _( ◐ _◐ )⁄
_( ◐#◐ )人( ◑ ¬ ◑ )_

*me ↁ_ↁ
( (≪●≫) )Д( (≪●≫) ) (I am watching you . . . )
how I see the scene

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Eww, creepy eyes Sancheezy! LOL.

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@Sancheezy.. you and your emojis ???
Keep 'em coming please

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Your creativity with these emojis is out-of-this-world awesome! I look for them now. ?

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love the graphics!

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@maryxiah. ????. I love your humor.... I have never laughed so much with a broken heart. You should be the one writing the last two episodes for us. i'm pretty confident with you as the writer, the rating for this drama will exceed the 30% dreamland. The ending will be happy and hilarious. It would help us to heal the wounds in our heart that was inflicted by the last few episodes. On the other note, just give us some more of your humor for now so we can survive until next monday❤️❤️

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Ahaha, I'm glad you find it funny Mihanhni. You give me too much credit. *blush*

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I never thought that my heart would actually break into a million pieces upon hearing CP said "Byungyeon-ah"

Please tell me they planned all of this so that they could free Ra-On and father and not make like the Crown Prince had anything to do with the rebels bcos his right man was actually spy. But then again, it would make Byung-yeon the baaaad guy ? Is he sacrificing himself for everyone's sake?

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And I thought the word "Ra-on ah" was lethal, I guess anything heartfelt coming out of Yeong's mouth sounds heartbreaking.

I think Byung-yeon's action was a decision spurred by the moment. He didn't have to oust himself right in front of everyone, but by doing it, he shifted all attention on him and the treason accusation has been lifted off Yeong. So yeah, he basically sacrificed himself for his best bud. I love Kim Hyung so much.

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i do not think CP is too shock that BY is in fact a baekwoon. He is more sad that he is going to lose BY. His brazen acts means death, and since it is made open in public, CP is helpless to do anything to save him later. Unless something happen that change everything - i.e. Baekwoon is not a rebel faction that really cause the riot.

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@ara2 i agree 100%. He sacrificed himself, to save the CP and also save Ra-On. Since his already down for treason, he will save Ra-On and also CP

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Kim yoo jung's kind of acting reminds me a lot of Han hyo joo's acting. Can't point my finger on why. Also a small bit of Han ye seul's and Kim tae hee's acting.

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perhaps because the romance is kinda like W? not sure. or the lines uttered all sound a bit lifeless and monotone? i'm sure it was meant to show poise and depression. it sure is depressing. i miss seeing kyj's smile.

on another note, i understand where raon was coming from wanting to see her father for the first time, perhaps last time. but has she ever thought that it could also mean her mother losing both her husband and her child at the same time? or did she think the chances of her getting caught was low enough to risk that?

also, where is the little princess? i hope she's not just another plot device.

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I find it weird that Eunuch Han agreed to let Ra-On see her father in prison. I mean, if he has this grand plan to rescue her father from prison and let him out, couldn't he just tell Ra-On to wait?

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tbh I think Eunuch han capable of something more,
he killed the traitor and he lets Ra-on inside, he is making himself more like a villain days after days

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Yeah. What's deal with this Eunuch Han dude. I'm never too sure when it comes to him. So he may have agreed to do that on purpose. If not, then it would have to be that the show had to dig a plot hole to make sure Ra On is present when all of that went down in the palace.

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Seeing him reminded me of the conversation Yeong and Teacher Dasan had before. Is he fighting for a change or to win? He should've seen that Yeong has a potential of becoming a good King, but he never seem to acknowledge it.

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I was wondering the same thing too.

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He probably didn't want to give her false hope because a plan is still only a plan, who knows they might not make it out alive, and if they were to die in the palace, Ra-on would never have a chance to meet her father.

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But letting Ra-On in means his work just got doubled, right? The whole palace is literally looking for her. So he now need to break a man out of prison AND smuggle them both out of the palace. Safely. With only 10 men.

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The whole palace started looking for her because the minister recognized her and found out she sneaked into the palace. Ra-on was pretty adamant to see her father, so I think Eunuch Han just wanted to let them meet up in case anything go haywire, he couldn't have predicted Ra-on would expose herself so quickly in the process.

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I hope the little princess will appear in the next episode and able to speak and tell everyone about prime minister crime.

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I miss seeing Kim Yoo-jung's giggle.

I think Ra-on is someone who has a great insight but lack foresight. It's funny because she's always careful and cautious but still manage to get into all sorts of trouble, so I can only imagine that it's the flaws in her character (I'm not saying she's poorly written). She appeared to be grounded and less emotional than Yeong, but her actions always prove the opposite. Like when she decided to break things off with Yeong by hurting him so he won't feel sorry to her, she had done that to spare him the pain of hurting her if he was to marry Ha-yeon (insight), yet not realizing (again, lack of foresight) her very act hurt him more.

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I love her and I think she's one of the best actresses at her age, but I feel like still being young is showing for some scenes now. sometimes I feel like her emotions lack depth? she's crying, I know what she wants to portray, but it's a bit superficial? I don't know how to explain exactly...
it doesn't help that she has bogum at the opposite because he's so good at having those subtle change of expressions that helps a lot to deliver the feelings more clearly (for me, at least) and gives new dimensions to his acting?

but I totally think she will improve this as she gets older tho.

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I loved her acting in Moon Embraces Sun. I liked her so much I didn't even pay attention to Kim So Hyun in that drama. I even like her a lot the first few episodes of MDBC. But her weaknesses are increasingly showing. At this time, I prefer KSH's acting to hers, and I think KSH's acting isn't perfect either. But she has more oomph and flavor. I even think PSH's acting at her age long ago was better, and I'm no fan of PSH's acting either. Never thought I would think that.

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If we're going to compare child actresses, Nam Ji Hyun, Park Bo young, etc were better when they were that age. As for 1999'ers, Kim Sae Ron and KSH. I don't know about other performances, but in Moonlight, it doesn't help that she's acting opposite PBG. the contrast is showing so it's unfair to compare her to those two. I do agree she seems a bit too bland (or tofu as someone commented in the previous recap :D ) compared to those two but it's right for this particular role.

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KSR was really good at MOTW. the drama has it flaws and all, but I think her acting (and YSY's) was one of the strongest points of the drama.

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The only problem I have with KYJ (and in fact many other actress) are the eyes..in quiet scene her eyes move a lot..like down..right..left. Everytime. Compare that with PBG eyes acting. His eyes project his thinking, emotion. Just look at the final scene starting from PM Kim is accusing him being chummy with rebel's daughter up till the end. There are a LOT of different eyes acting.
Having said that, KYJ is still way above many actress older than her. I first watched her in TMETS and since then being a fan of her acting. Here hoping she will improve more in her quiet scene and grow to be the best actress in future.

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yeah, I think the quiet scenes are her weakest point too. and, as I said, having PBG right by her side doesn't help because that's exactly HIS strongest point.

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I agree. KYJ is extremely good and she will be hard to match, but I choke that up to being 17 and just not having had the life experiences to draw from. Her acting is extremely skilled; it's just not nuanced. When she's lone, this is not very noticeable but when she's in the same as PBG, it does become very apparent.

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Funny how in the comment section we have such contradicting opinions on KYJ's acting.

For me, I think that her eyes could have been rolling a little too much in this episode, but other than that, she portray the emotions so well through her eyes. I don't think the crying scenes are shallow at all. I find KSH not very likable as I didn't even enjoy her acting in METS so I won't even bother to compare the two of them. I won't even use KYJ's age to fault her, because that would put a lot of older actresses to shame.

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The only thing I find fault with is she restrained too much. I don't know if maybe the character is written as such? Park Bo-gum expresses everything on his face, like confusion, anger, disbelief, exasperation, longing and etc. It's not that I don't get what kind of emotions Yoo-jung is potraying, but I feel like she suppressed Ra-on's emotions. When Eunuch Han was talking to her about the prince being too sick after her departure and to cut her feeling loose, I kind of expected her to cry a little, if not burst into tears, but I only see a little tears welled up in her eyes. And that happens a little too often.

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I'm with you on this. I did feel that in the recent episodes KYJ's acting is restrained, but I do not really mind it because I'm thinking she's probably written to react this way. Since leaving the palace she's been trying hard to keep her cool and suppress emotions, which she did splendidly last week that when she finally broke down, I felt all her bottled up emotions. I do wish to see more of her emotions when she's alone. She can be totally restrained in front of others since she is trying to put up a front, but when alone, I was hoping to see her show more.

I hate to compare because I love both PBG and KYJ and they have their individual strengths and styles, but when PBG is alone, I just feel the longing from him. It emanates from his eyes and his features. I don't get as much from KYJ. Again, she could really be told to restrain. We don't know for sure. Nonetheless, KYJ is an excellent actress given her young age.

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Yeah, I totally dig the part where she burst into tears by the lake, because I understand that she suppressed much of her emotions, and when Yoon-sung asked her to cry freely, she was allowed to express that sadness. But then she went back to restraining herself, I couldn't help but to compare Park Bo-gum and Kim Yoo-jung because during the one scene they shared in Ep.16, when she told Yeong not to be shaken by any news of her, I could totally see the confusion and the hurt in Yeong's eyes and he didn't even well up in tears! I guess I'm so greedy for wanting to see more nuances of facial expression on her.

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I remember the scene when she cried in front of Yoonsung and said "I didn't want to cry."

I guess her character is meant to be one who represses her sad feelings. She was such a bubbly girl at the start until all this shit happened, after all.

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need some retail therapy with Shopping King Louis STAT to soothe my battered and aching heart from the last two weeks of the Mon-Tues saeguks. I can’t take much more heartache for these poor puppies! STOP HURTING THEM. ??

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Louis is my current favourite drama right now. i wouldn't have predicted it a few weeks ago.

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I am with you... after both Moon (Moon Lovers and Moonlight Drawn by Clouds) Sageuks end I am taking a break from sageuks. There is only so much of my heart I can allow some fictional characters to break at one given time. Right now I am way too invested, and there's not even a light of hope in sight ?

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Yeah, Shopping King Louis is my jam. I just want to handcuff Louis and Bok Shil to each other so they can never be apart. lol

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Oooooh, good idea! *Rubs hands together with mischievous smile* Let the shenanigans begin.

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I need JI to make me laugh, and OTTWA to make forget about my heartache in from the TWO MOONS.

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Is it me of this drama is overly sentimental at times? Reminds me a bit of moon embraces the sun. Still a good drama but milking the emo vibe at all turns. Methinks it's the goong-ish violins and piano.

Honestly in this drama, I feel the most for ha yeon. Followed by yoon sung. Even if both come from a priviledged background and suffer less. Probably because I can empathize more with unrequited love than I can with being born a rebel's daughter. lol. I just think both alongside CP are the most intelligent characters in this drama. Other characters, friends or foes, just seem kinda dumb, or not that bright so it takes the fun out of the plot. Because none are that effective at plotting things, Old Eunuch or Kim or more, I end up not giving them much importance.

Most interesting part of this episode for me was the argument between CP and Raon's father. It felt more engaging than other scenes. I like it best when CP pointed out the difference between their dreams was just how far on was from being realized in the future compared 2 the other. Queen being threatened comes 2nd. Neither of them were about romance or had tears. Also good move KB. It was the best solution to get Raon out of there safe with the rebels, but poor CP.

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it's the music and the sounds,
the drama based on early introduction never meant to be "one of a kind" or "groundbreaking political saeguk"
they actually said this is "a normal sageuk" but every work is synch so it elevated the execution,

but the score is really good and they keep making the sad or breaking scene longer so it feels overly sentimental,

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Yeah! Ever since episode 12 I'd say…we've been riding the emo train pretty much

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What? I totally love all the instrumental they have in this drama and they're used perfectly to convey every emotions in the scenes. Maybe because I'm a mellow person, so I love anything that draws out emotions.

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I can't believe we only have two episodes left! But I'm mostly just frustrated at how obnoxiously incompetent this king is. I wonder where he would rank in the contest of incompetent kings in kdramas.

That last scene was such an amazing cliffhanger! It's going to be crazy to see how it unfolds and if everyone can come out okay. I really hope that Byeong Yeon has a good plan for turning against Yeong like that, especially in front of everyone!

Please let our two lovebirds end up together!!

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Yes. yes yes. I wanted to behead the King. If only to stop him from blurting out useless and stupid things... He was SO ANNOYING.

He needs to take a Valium (sedative) STAT.

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They may not have had Valium back in the day. :) Maybe they could find some valerian root. :)

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I felt like smacking him left right and center. He keeps making things difficult for CP, first the marriage now execution.

I think his worst than evil Queen in Moon Lovers. No i think it back, she is the worst of the lot.

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Has someone abducted the drama writers this week? What is going on? I just can't...

I really need an epic twist to happen next week to forgive this week's episodes. You're right, the show hasn't gotten BAD by any means, but it has gone from magical and extraordinary to ordinary in the course of two hours.

Heightened expectations = heightened disappointments. Sadface.

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^This perfectly encapsulates what I feel right now.

The show was doing so well at being great and not stupid, but

I'm just hoping all these loose ends (mute little princess, former queen's mysterious death, baby princess' birth switch, how Hong Papa even knew where his family was hiding, why were soldiers going to Raon's safehouse (were they there for Hong Papa or for Raon?), Yoonsung and his king-like face prophecy, will Hayeon ever marry Yeong, WILL YEONG (spoiler) DIE EARLY LIKE WHAT WIKI SAID??) tie in gloriously together next week.

See? It's bad when I'm not too tired with crying after watching an episode coz we analyze the show and find out that a lot of things just don't make sense.

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Augh, tell me about it. Those bean chaffs have been removed from my eyes too and now I've got magnifying glasses for the show's flaws.

All I can think about is the gazillion loose ends that must be tied up (gloriously, I'll settle for no less) in finale week, when all I wanted was some fluff in the ultimate hour.

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With Ra-on's posters all over the town, I'm not surprised if anyone in town revealed to the authority of her whereabouts, and since her father saw the same poster, he probably spied on the officials and see what info they had on his daughter and made it to the hiding place before them. I don't need them to explore how they had found Ra-on's hiding place because that'd take much time away from more important plot.

Yeong may or may not die early, but not because it's what's written in wikipedia, but because Moonlight's PD clarified that Yeong's character is inspired by Crown Prince Hyomyeong, but not based on him or the novel entirely. I do wonder how they're going to twist the prophecy where Yeong dies young.

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I wonder if the earlier push for extension had any implication in the writing process. Like if the discussion had them panicking so they thought bringing HGN back would give them more material. Then it didn't push through after all and they could've said whatever, let's stick with this anyway?

Then again the decision to keep the 18 eps would mean they were firm in sticking to the story they wanted to tell and how they wanted to tell it.

I dunno @[email protected]

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Nah, the team strongly refused the extension, so I think HGN was part of the plan from the beginning

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It's normal for sageuk to focus on political machinations at some point in the story, especially one that based the palace as its background. However, I am nervous because this is the writer of Who Are You School 2015, and that drama disappointed me in the last few episodes.

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I think this writer's weakness is not knowing how to balance scenes when it comes to love triangles. Jinyoung's character is supposed to be Yeong's rival for Ra On yet he's just off doing other things.

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I prefer YS to settle his own stuff since he has one messed up family to deal with. It will be boring if the last few episodes are about him comforting depressed Ra On over and over again.

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@Aigoooo
I have to disagree about the love triangle, I love how it's dealt with here because if Jinyoung go fiercy to rival Yeong in the love department, I would love his character less. He loves Raon, but he also realise how much Raon loves Yeong. He knows he doesn't stand a chance so it's better for him to just protect her, instead of going all out to win her heart and oppose Yeong (he's still somewhat friend of Yeong)

Like Kim PD said in interview, YS is daddy long legged for Raon, that's why he happened to do all those other things, that will in turn proctect Raon a little longer

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YS seemed to have made peace with his feelings for Raon. I got the sense after that crying scene by the lake that he finally understood that there's no going back Raon in terms of her love for Yeong. He may still harbor feelings for her, but I doubt he'll actively present himself as a rival and will only love her on his own. This I think is sad. Someone give YS an awesome lady!

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I volunteer as a tribute.

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OH NO. but he/she must have learned from that, right? Please?

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Yeah. We've just reached that point in a sageuk where the focus is on the politics. I'm actually happy that it's happening now that we're ending. I don't think I would enjoy the show if it started earlier and was the focus of the show because the strength of this show is not on the politics but on the characters and their relationships. The politics is nice as it adds conflict, but should not be the focus in my opinion. However, now that we are nearing the end, it's about time.

On the other hand, while I like that we only get to focus on politics in the latter episodes because I personally do not want to sit through episodes of pure politics, I wished the writer was able to balance more all these aspects of the story throughout. The first half focused mainly on the relationships and the second half has more politics especially these recent ones. If politics and romance and all other aspects were presented in bits and pieces in each episode, then we would not feel so overwhelmed with these recent episodes. Then again, I'm thinking, the writer thought to make this the ultimate showdown of some sort; hence the presentation of the main political conflict and all of its heaviness in the last few episodes. It could work too if presented/delivered well.

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