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Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: Episode 18 (Final)

We’re at the end of the line, and that means it’s time to resolve conflicts, wrap up loose ends, answer our questions, give us a satisfying resolution, and leave us with a uplifting feeling of hope that while the drama is over, the characters live on, in that we can be happy with even when we don’t get to witness it ourselves. That’s a fairly tall order, and the big question is whether the drama managed to pull all that off in its final hour. There’s no way to answer that without spoiling everything up front, so let’s just get right to the point, shall we?

 

 
EPISODE 18: “Moonlight drawn by clouds”

Late at night at Teacher Dasan’s home, Byung-yeon prepares to leave and peers inside to see Ra-on alone, dozing. He sets off, thinking, “It may be a long journey. But I promise you: I will return to you and the prince.”

Ra-on’s sleep turns fitful as she dreams of that night she’d held a knife to Yeong, which he’d used to cut off his bracelet.

In the palace, Yeong drinks his tonic and thinks of that same moment, when his bracelet fell apart and scattered. The poison hits him, and he falls over.

Ra-on calls out to Yeong in her sleep, and wakes feeling heavy-hearted. She chooses to consider the dream as a happy one, just as she’d once described dreaming of losing her mother: “Because at least I could see you.”

A frantic pounding sounds at the front gate, and it’s Young Master Jung with an urgent summons to bring Teacher Dasan to the palace. Ra-on hears that Yeong has been poisoned and falls to the ground, overcome.

Teacher Dasan and Ra-on (disguised as his assistant) hurry to the palace, where the gate guard asks Ra-on to remove her face mask. She’s saved from discovery by Eunuch Jang, who arrives in a panic to usher them in.

They’re taken to the prince’s chamber, where Yeong lies unconscious, looking like death. Ra-on kneels at his bedside and reaches for his hand, the sight of him bringing her to tears.

Teacher Dasan gets to work and spoons medicine into Yeong’s mouth. Perhaps it works, because Yeong’s eyes flutter open soon thereafter, and they breathe a sigh to see that he’s regained consciousness.

Through his tired eyes, Yeong just barely makes out the blurry image of Ra-on hovering above.

Just then, Ha-yeon is announced, and Ra-on quickly steps aside. Ha-yeon looks at her curiously, but she’s more concerned with the prince’s condition at the moment and hurries to his bedside.

Yeong’s blurry vision sharpens into focus as he makes out Ha-yeon’s face, and is that disappointment on his face? From a distance, Ra-on watches the two of them with sad eyes, and then the door closes in her face, leaving her on the outside.

The queen is worrying over having her baby daughter in Ha-yeon’s care when a court lady informs her that the prince has collapsed from poisoning. Her shock suggests she was unaware of the plan.

Teacher Dasan informs Yeong that the tonic he drank wasn’t poisoned, which is why the court lady who tasted it didn’t fall ill. Instead, the poison had been applied to the surface of the bowl, which is why the princess’s silver ring darkened upon contact. Because Yeong only drank a small amount, he should be able to recover fully. Yeong asks Teacher Dasan to keep his recovery a secret—he looks forward to seeing how happy people will be at his return from the brink.

The tactic has the desired effect, because Eunuch Sung reports to Prime Minister Kim that the palace is swirling with rumors that the prince is dying by the minute.

Ha-yeon thinks back to the masked aide attending to Yeong, unable to shake the suspicion that it was Ra-on. She tells herself that it can’t be, but without much conviction.

Ra-on tends to Yeong as he sleeps, and just as she moves away, his hand reaches out to pull her back. He reaches up to pull off her mask, then smiles to see her face, saying, “So I didn’t see wrong.”

She starts to explain why she’s here, but he just says, “When I opened my eyes, do you know how much I worried that it would not be you here? When I grabbed you, I hesitated for a long while, in case it might not be you.”

Ra-on tells him that she promised Teacher Dasan that she would only stay a few days, and take utmost care to not be recognized, not even by the prince. So now, she requests that he pretend not to know her for just a little while.

Yeong reaches for her hand and draws her sleeve back—revealing that she wears his bracelet, put back together. It makes him smile and hold on tighter, and he agrees, “I will pretend not to know you for a long, long while, so stay by my side. Even if it is just until I am recovered.”

He grasps her hand in his, and reaches up with the other to cradle her face.

And that’s the scene Ha-yeon witnesses from the door, which she quietly closes while holding back tears.

Yeong receives a visit from little Princess Yeongeun and her mother, Royal Consort Park. He asks if Consort Park recalls the day his mother died, recalling how she’d collapsed after taking her medicine, but no poison had been found in it. The incident was suspicious, but ultimately buried.

Yeong finds his poisoning similar to his mother’s death, and believes the same culprit to be behind both incidents. He views this incident as a good opportunity to get to the bottom of his mother’s death, though he sighs that he doesn’t have any proof.

At that, little Yeongeun flicks up her eyes nervously, looking conflicted. (Yasssssss.)

The queen orders Eunuch Sung to sneak her (discarded) baby back to her, and then she accompanies him to hand off the baby to a henchman. The queen warns the eunuch to do a proper job of it this time (as in, disposing of the child).

And then, Yeong’s voice orders them to halt. He turns scathing eyes on the queen, asking if she has ordered the child killed, and orders them to set the baby down, saying that even criminals are full of defenses and protests when accused of crimes. The least they can do is to let the baby do the only thing it knows how to do, cry, before it dies: “In front of the mother who is trying to get rid of her in such a terrible way.”

The queen looks conflicted, but steels herself and tells him to do as he wishes. Yeong warns that this is the last chance he will give her—that it’s the one way that everyone will be able to live.

He asks her to reveal that truth that this is her child, rather than the boy she has claimed. The queen’s face twists with emotion, but she smooths it out before facing the prince, lying, “I have no idea what you are saying.”

Yeong looks shocked at her coldness as she just walks away. But the baby begins to cry, and the queen struggles with herself, trying to ignore the cries.

Princess Yeongeun thinks back to that traumatizing day when she’d seen the court lady killed, and recalls seeing an envelope in the woman’s hands. Ra-on comes upon her and pauses in concern to see her looking distressed.

Ra-on quietly identifies herself, and Yeongeun writes a note asking if Ra-on is here as a doctor’s aide because of the sick prince. Ra-on says she will stay until the prince recovers, and asks if the princess is struggling with something.

Yeongeun asks for a favor, then leads Ra-on to that room where she’d once hidden, now dusty with disuse. She starts looking around for something, remembering that the lady stuffed the envelope underneath the a loose floorboard moments before being killed.

The memory makes Yeongeun tremble and cry, but she forces herself to point a finger toward the floor and eke out a word: “T-there…”

Ra-on feels for the loose floorboard, and finds that long-forgotten letter tucked underneath it. Behind them, a pair of feet quietly leave. Uh-oh.

It’s the prime minister’s underling, who reports back that he saw Ra-on fetching something from underneath the floor. The prime minister orders him to bring Ra-on, dead or alive, and at that, Yoon-sung offers himself for the task.

The prime minister points out that he can’t trust Yoon-sung when he knows he cares for the girl, but Yoon-sung replies that he’d like to test himself and see how strong his feelings are. He admits to feeling upset about her remaining close to the prince, and says that the clan must be powerful in order for him to have what he wants. Please tell me you’re just making the argument your grandfather wants to hear—because on that score, it works, and the prime minister agrees to let Yoon-sung bring her in.

Yeong delivers the old letter to the king, explaining Ra-on’s part in its recovery. The king recognizes the handkerchief inside, stained with blood, and reads the letter before showing it to Yeong.

The letter is from Yeong’s mother, addressed to him, and it sounds as though she expects to die; she tells Yeong that she hopes he will have overcome his sadness when he reads the letter. She also writes, “I have staked my life to protect your seat, not for my son’s power, but for the hope of Joseon—do not forget that.”

Ra-on returns to her old building late that night, and Yoon-sung finds her there. He looks at her with cold eyes and says she must come with him, just as he’s joined by masked assassins. Ra-on registers the threat, but they grab her before she can do anything.

Yoon-sung keeps his face stony, though it flickers when he hears Ra-on cry out in pain. At that, he draws his sword and holds it up to Ra-on’s scared face… and then whirls on his masked assassins.

He grabs Ra-on protectively and turns on his grandfather’s men, dispatching several in quick succession, not stopping even when he’s slashed across the abdomen. Then Ra-on sees that he’s in the direct line of danger, and darts in to block his body with hers.

But Yoon-sung can’t have her hurt, so he whirls them around, keeping Ra-on out of harm’s way… and getting stabbed in the chest instead. He spits up a mouthful of blood.

Still, he has enough strength to resume fighting when the remaining assassins charge him. One aims for Ra-on, and Yoon-sung blocks the sword’s path—by placing his body directly in its path.

The sword digs into his shoulder, and then Yoon-sung grabs the blade with his bare hand and slides his body along the length of the blade, toward the hilt, until he can knock the sword away. Goddamn it Yoon-sung, you’re a badass mofo but you’re hard to watch.

Yoon-sung takes down the last assassin, but by now his body has been battered with multiple injuries, and he collapses. Ra-on rushes to his side and cradles his head in her lap, scared to see that he’s seeping blood at an alarming rate.

Yoon-sung manages to smile as he tells her not to cry: “I do not wish to be remembered as a small man who would make a woman cry.” She can’t believe he’d joke at a time like this, but he continues, “Do not be sad, either.”

She sobs that she’s sorry for always hurting him when he always made her smile. He shakes his head and says, “You are the picture I always wanted to draw.” He says that it’s enough that she is happy in the moment he draws her, and urges her to be happy.

His eyes slowly close, and he falls limp. As the reality of his death sinks in, she sobs over his body.

The queen must have been moved by her crying child after all, because she admits everything to her father, subdued for once rather than agitated. She says she wanted to give birth to a boy, even if through faking it, and had a reason other than the obvious one of providing an heir: She wanted her father’s acknowledgement.

“Even if you weren’t satisfied with me, I am still your blood kin,” she says.

She asks if he ever thought of her as his child, to which he replies that she’s in no place to ask that after trying to kill her own child to protect her position.

She can only laugh at that: “Yes, hearing that, we are indeed related. Able to throw away anyone who becomes a hindrance, or kill. I am just like you.”

The prime minister says coolly that her desire for his approval is not within her reach, as the lowly child of a gisaeng—she ought to just be content with the queen’s seat he created for her. Her face falls, disappointed once more.

Without warning, her doors fly open and the king walks in, followed by Yeong and several soldiers. The king faces the prime minister and demands to know if everything is true. The queen hangs her head, thinking they’re speaking of her baby—but Yeong holds out the recently discovered letter, and the prime minister recognizes it.

A flashback takes us back ten years: The previous queen, Yeong’s mother, faces the prime minister, who warns her of the dangers of being too interested in Western learning. He confronts her with a book that he calls dangerous and heretical, which the queen says she read purely out of curiosity.

The prime minister accuses her of teaching the prince about ruling without accounting for class and rank. She argues that she was merely instructing him to regard every one of his citizens as important, but the prime minister is clearly capable of twisting that around to make it seem she’s inciting an upheaval of social order. So he gives her the choice: be dethroned and make the crown prince the son of a criminal, or to remain blameless and step down of her own accord.

This must all be in the queen’s letter, which the prime minister now reads. But then, a eunuch bursts in with terrible news of Yoon-sung.

A short time later, the prime minister is brought before the court as a criminal. Yeong reads the charges: contempt of royalty in falsifying the queen’s identity, poisoning the prince, and assassinating the former queen and covering it up. He is sentenced, along with the other two Kim ministers, to execution by beheading. The queen, meanwhile, is dethroned for passing off another child as the prince.

As the prime minister is escorted out of his home to meet his fate, he requests one last look at Yoon-sung’s room. As he sits in the empty room, he flashes back to that day long ago, when Yoon-sung and Yeong were boys. He’d watched as they changed back after trading clothes and Yoon-sung had asked if wearing the prince’s robes would make him the prince.

Little Yeong, now wearing the egret-adorned hat, replies no—but it allows them to understand each other better. Little Yoon-sung asks Yeong how he’d felt wearing his clothes, and Yeong says that his friend’s clothes had felt just as heavy as his own. So it was Yoon-sung who would die young all along, and Yeong who bore the traits of a good king.

The prime minister finds a pistol among Yoon-sung’s things. Moments later, a gunshot rings out.

Yeong carries his mother’s handkerchief out to the field, remembering how she had wished for him to see the people in lower classes, and to protect each and every citizen as his own. She’d asked him then to promise to be that kind of king, and he reaffirms that vow now.

Next, it’s Ra-on who is brought before the court as a criminal, kneeling before Yeong as he reads out her charge—which he follows by acknowledging her contribution to restoring honor to the royal family. He pardons her for all of her crimes.

Ha-yeon makes a request of the king, which he finds difficult to understand: She wishes to step down as crown princess, even if, according to law, she is prohibited from marrying for the rest of her life. Ha-yeon explains that she knew Yeong didn’t care for her, but had hoped he might open his heart to her eventually.

“However, I was unable to offer the least bit of comfort to the prince’s weary heart,” she says, “and I blamed myself and hated myself for it. I realized how foolish I had been. Rather than being a foolish princess who is a burden to the prince, so that I may live alone but honestly, please grant your permission.”

A short while later, Ha-yeon makes her way through the city streets, on her way to the ferry. She flings off her head covering and breathes in the air.

We hear the king’s voice delivering his decision: He will revoke the entire princess selection, thereby freeing her of the requirement to remain unmarried for the rest of her life. He hopes she will find a man who will treasure her and urges her to live happily.

One year later.

The king is announced, and a red-robed figure makes his way into the throne room—Yeong, now king, taking his position before his council. Among the lesser officials is Young Master Jung, while Teacher Dasan is there in minister’s robes.

Yeong makes his way to the throne, but pauses in front of the lofty seat. Changing his mind, he turns and sits down right on the top step, in front of the throne, butt on floor. The ministers murmur amongst themselves and Teacher Dasan asks why he is sitting there.

Yeong replies that he will continue to do so: “The highs and lows between me and my people, the distance between me and you—I hope that you will understand my wish to be one step closer.”

Eunuch Jang beams with pride, Teacher Dasan quirks up a smile, and the rest of the ministers bow a bit uncertainly.

Over in the eunuch department, Head Eunuch Jang delivers the speech about responsibility and honor to the newest class of rookies. Do Ki and Sung-yeol observe the new faces… and take a closer look at one of the rookies. Wait, is that…?

Pwahaha, it’s Kim Seul-gi, looking suspiciously pretty and delicate-featured in the sea of male faces. (Best cameo reference ever.) They both feel that strange sense of déjà vu, and then Kim Seul-gi looks over and shoots them a wink.

As Princess Myeongeun takes a walk, a eunuch hands her a red rose, which she takes with some confusion. More eunuchs line her path, as do court ladies, each holding out a rose.

Once she’s amassed a large bouquet, she comes to Young Master Jung at the end of the line, who kneels before her and starts to say that she now has ninety-nine flowers. Myeongeun cuts him off to get to the punchline first, that she’s the last flower. Aw, Young Master Jung drops the rose he’d been holding behind his back—his punchline had been different—and tells her she’s right, and asks her to marry him.

She’s touched, but concerned that marrying her would prevent his career from reaching its full heights (a princess’s husband would find himself restricted in many ways). He tells her that walking with her would make every path flower-lined, and outshining any path to career success.

“All I need is you,” he says, “Myeongeun-ah.” He kisses her, and their audience cheers.

Out in the city, Byung-yeon and Hong Kyung-rae watch from a distance as Yeong, disguised as a simple nobleman, walks among the people and gets invited to play a game.

Byung-yeon references a saying about drawing clouds to make the moonlight shine, and smiles as he watches Yeong among his people. He says, “Rather than a sun that shines alone, he’s a ruler who shines brightly when among his people, like the moonlight—I believe the king is that kind of person.”

Hong Kyung-rae notes, “So you will remain as a cloud, on behalf of the king. Is that what you mean?” They smile.

In a bookshop, Ra-on puts out a new book on display: The cover bears a face that looks like Yeong, and the title is “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds.” It’s snatched off its perch immediately, and Yeong sighs that she’s been so busy writing her supposed masterpiece that he’s barely seen her.

She’s a bit sheepish about putting his face on the cover, but asks for his understanding, since a book’s cover can affect its sales. Yeong leans down to meet her at eye level, and warns that he’ll be seeking repayment, and Ra-on shyly covers her lips with her hands and asks, “Here?” Hee.

He laughs at her assumption, saying that he meant a percentage of the sale price. Ha.

Holding hands as they walk through a field of flowers, Yeong asks what the book is about. Ra-on describes a prince of a far-off land, with beautiful looks and a bad temper. He pouts at that, but she continues that the prince undergoes all sorts of trials to emerge as a good king.

“Have you written of your hopes?” he asks. Ra-on shakes her head, saying, “No. I have merely taken a peek at the world you are making.”

He takes her hands, and asks, “Then who are you?” Ra-on guesses, “In the nation you will make, that first citizen?” Yeong shakes his head; that’s not what he’s thinking of.

Ra-on thinks again. “The one who came to you in the appearance of a eunuch, your first sweetheart?” That’s not it either, so she asks, “Then who am I?”

He replies, “You are the Ra-on who filled my world to the brim.”

She smiles happily, and he swoops in to kiss her.

 
COMMENTS

Ahh, so we get our happy ending after all, and everything worked out, more or less, with ends tied neatly and history blatantly flouted. (That giant disclaimer at the top of the episode about this show being different from history was a pretty big tip-off that the ending would be upbeat, but I wasn’t expecting a tragedy, so I didn’t mind not having that element of surprise.) Not everything was happy, of course, considering how Yoon-sung died, but on the whole the episode fulfilled its role as a finale and provided closure to most of the big plot conflicts. It even managed to tie in points from early episodes, which contributed to the feeling of an ending that had been set up well in advance, so that it felt like an extension of logic and not like a late-game attempt to make everything end happily.

I’m fine with having Yoon-sung die at the end, and if he had to go, then it makes sense that he would go down to protect Ra-on. I appreciate that his good nature won out—perhaps he was lying to his grandfather about testing his feelings, or perhaps he really was testing himself, but in either scenario Yoon-sung was true to himself and died fighting for his convictions, which eases the sting a bit. It was also the least the show could do to have him die in Ra-on’s arms, able to confess a bit of his heart while wishing her well.

It’s just, that stupid fight. That stupid, needless fight that didn’t have to happen, that didn’t make sense in the context of the plot, that felt like it was choreographed and shot and edited before it was properly written. COME ON, those men are under his command! Even if they wouldn’t have acted against the prime minister’s orders, there were a gajillion ways Yoon-sung could have taken advantage of the situation, could have sent them away, could have thwarted them on a goose chase, could have brought a horse and run away with Ra-on, could have warned her ahead of time, et ceteraaaa. And that was the best you could do? The last time I saw a death that pointless was when that dude in Moon/Sun literally threw himself in the path of an incoming spear because of fate or whatever. I get that narratively, the death makes sense, and may even be a necessity. I just really wish the writing had actually done that necessity justice. I thought Yoon-sung deserved better.

But as for things I loved: While it was convenient for Ha-yeon to be the one to bow out of the marriage and free Yeong without making anybody a bad guy, I appreciate that she wasn’t shown to be doing it out of a broken heart, or a sense of selflessness or martyrdom. Ultimately it was a choice to honor herself above a one-sided love that she saw was never going to be returned, to allow herself to live with a freer heart, even if that would limit the life she could lead as an unmarriageable young woman. Heck, at least it would be better than being locked into a miserable life as an unhappy married woman, to be able to choose herself. Kelly Taylor would approve. Of course, this show does love to have cakes and eat them too, so she ended up even freer than she’d hoped, with the king releasing her from the princess trappings entirely.

Also: Yeong became king! Obviously we’re in total fantasyland by this point, because he never made it to kinghood in real life, but it’s gratifying to see him actually rule, because the great tragedy was that we knew he’d be an awesome ruler but wouldn’t get the chance. I’m presuming that the whole “fake his death to live with Ra-on while history believes the prince dead” plotline was a popular speculation for the finale, and I was half-expecting to see it in play here—but what would have disappointed about that ending is that Yeong would have had to give up his hopes of being a good king and treasuring his people and turning around Joseon from its path of puppet kings and corrupt puppetmasters. And that idealism and integrity was such a huge part of his character that I didn’t quite want that to be the solution.

Truth be told, I can’t shake my niggling sense of disappointment that the show so thoroughly ignored history, even as I’m glad for the characters’ sake that everything worked out well for them. It’s not enough to anger me or sour my opinion of the show, but it is a distinct disappointment to have the show take all this care to establish the historical basis, work in real-life figures, and then just kind of shrug and say, “Never mind, none of the rest happens in this world.” I’m certainly fine with fantasy sageuks taking liberties with trufax, and don’t expect—or even want—them to be completely accurate. But one of the huge draws of watching sageuks is understanding the broad strokes of history and knowing that there are certain constraints we have to work with—so as we watch the show, it becomes a source of enjoyable angst to worry about how a show will manage to pull out a satisfactory solution when we already know the punchline.

I wanted this show to pull out a clever twist to show us how historical record came to be, while still delivering a happy ending. One way to do that is to fake his death, but they could have also played with the swapped-babies theme and made Yoon-sung the real prince. Or something cleverer that I was hoping really hard the show could figure out. Part of my excitement about this drama was the anticipation about how the drama would accomplish this feat—and then we got there and the drama just decided that the constraint of reality didn’t matter anymore. Maybe that’s my fault for getting my hopes up, but the show was so winning and compelling that I really did believe it had that answer. If they were going to go with this ending, I wish they’d have invented an entirely fictional world from the start, the way The Moon That Embraces the Sun did, because in that case there are no expectations of boundaries, and no disappointments.

But I expect that this will bother different people to differing extents, and some people not at all. If delivering a happy resolution was the main concern, then Moonlight Drawn By Clouds delivered that, and left off at a nice place in the story—there are some open ends, but I feel confident that everyone I care about (except Yoon-sung, sniff) is in a good place and on a good trajectory, so that we can step out of this world feeling contented and hopeful. I don’t have to see Yeong and Ra-on married, for instance, because it’s enough that they’ve cleared out all their obstacles and are in a place where they can openly love. And with Yeong on the throne, we can rest easy that there may never be another peasant’s rebellion, especially with Byung-yeon and Hong Kyung-rae leading the rebels and believing in him to make a better nation.

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds wasn’t a perfect drama, but what I felt at the outset still stands: that this drama was elevated by every one of its parts to feel truly special, even if each of the individual parts might not feel quite as special on their own. Park Bo-gum was one of its biggest assets—and Kim Yoo-jung, of course, because their connection sold that romance, although I do really think Park Bo-gum gave it an extra magic, inhabiting the prince from head to toe and never wasting a moment onscreen. He’s always been a good actor, but he was so consistently and relentlessly wonderful in this show that he’s bound for superstardom now, deservedly.

I’m most grateful to the director for having such a cohesive, well-thought-out approach and knowing how to build emotion through both content and style—this drama was really enhanced by all of its tools, whether it was a well-placed OST track or a beautifully shot scene or a sense of pacing that somehow always knew when to grab my heart, and when to let it breathe again. (I did think it flagged a bit in that last regard toward the end, but its best scenes were so well-crafted that even now they make my breath catch in the same places, every time.) Dramas like this feel like an experience, more than just an entertaining story, and it’s always a joy to come across those, so we can hug them a little tighter while we have them, then let them go feeling full-hearted and contented.

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Indeed, Yeong is cunning, using his poisoned status to lure the evil. And the bracelet make appearance! Awww, they switched headgear, but so touching that Yeong said YS clothes just as heavy as his own, implying that YS’s position was just as tough as his.

Yoonsung-ah, you have painted a happy and beautiful painting TT.TT I guess the drama stayed true to the novel in killing YS. And it might be the best, since if YS live, he has no family left, that would be agonising for him, to live as criminal’s descendent.

I pity the Queen little here, she only wanted to be recognise by her father, glad she made right choice and face off her father.

And Hayeon, you go girl, now that Yeong has enough support of his own, you made the right decision to withdraw. Hope you can find your man.
Little Princess can talk now, yay. And MyeongEun x master Jung modernised proposal lolz

YES!!!! King Yeong. So glad that PBG get to don on that king robe!! I guess the King abdicate the throne and retire? And Eunuch Jang promoted to head eunuch, he looked like a proud mama when Yeong sit at the stairs, and Dasan is court official!! And we have a snippet of another infiltration of female-pretend-eunuch? That scene was funny, brought back memory.

One thing I guessed right about the ending, RO continues to write her book and perhaps she frequently out of palace just like Yeong, to live with the people. I still want a scene of RO, LY and BY to drink together though.

Props to BY for explaining “moonlight drawn by clouds”, I was so right about Yeong does not shine like the sun, he shines like the moon few eps ago, feel so good that I got the analogy right :D please BY, be Yeong’s cloud forever. I guess now RO’s parents can have their reunion of vacation since Yeong pardon all the crimes for treason. (I still think KBS should have kept the official Eng title as Moonlight drawn by clouds, instead of Love in the moonlight)

I’m satisfied by this episode, everything gets tied up pretty nicely, Yeong stayed true to his character, become a King that care for the people, frequently go out to live with his people. And Raon continues to be a romance writer, perhaps love counsellor too. And I assumed YeongOn married, or at least consummated because the way RO reacted to Yeong saying she has to pay, and she was worried about having the punishment right there. (Maybe it’s my thirst squad feels) Glad everyone has their happy ending.

The kiss scene was beautiful, sooo beautiful! Production team, you have done well. It was an excellent drama and despite few mishaps, it was a solid piece of work. You have set high standard for live-shooting, acting, writing, directing, editing, music, lighting, etc… it was great. Thank you. You all deserve the popularity and vacation. Final ep rating: 22.9%, special ep: 8.9%

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I also thought it was a perfect ending. Many thought it was rushed & it should be extended but I think they're just not ready to say goodbye yet.
Gosh what am I'm going to do?? I've waited for Mondays like crazy for the past couple of months & I don't even like Mondays. I've become so unproductive at work because of this drama & even had sleepless nights replaying the scenes in my mind. Crazy, I know!
It's as if it was yesterday me replaying the Bombastic teasers & other teasers tbh just to get an idea what this drama is all about while waiting for August 22nd. Time flies so fast

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Good job!
Thanks for the recap! Been a fun ride

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"I’ve become so unproductive at work because of this drama & even had sleepless nights replaying the scenes in my mind. Crazy, I know!"

-I CAN TOTALLY RELATE. I'VE BEEN SO ABSENT-MINDED DURING WORKING HOURS.

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Me too :D :D

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I am hoping for Love in the moonlight season 2 or another drama by PBG and KYJ

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Omg..you're making me withdrawl and feel nostalgic! Lol

I can't believe it's over also!

I hope this will be a great turning point in both their careers and bring them more great work. They are borth so talented as well as the supporting actors!

True, I have been excited about Mondays for the longest time whilst this drama was on also! Mondays are usually my day off, but the ANTICIPATION! OMG, knowing that Sunday was going to bring Monday has been so exciting for me...I will truely miss this show.

These two love birds will live on like in W for me.

Anyeong, my lovely show.

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OMG. tell me about it!

Every Monday and Tuesday I'm so out of it at work, swooning, squeeing and all kind of sound making when watching this drama, I even got caught ugly-crying at work because of it, not regretting one bit of it though!

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Tell me about it, I've been super unproductive at work and at home, even comment on recaps during work hours, lunch time, and even night time. I feel like it was only yesterday that I saw Bombastic teaser. *cries* I don't know how I'm gonna get through next week. Without Moonlight and this fantastic community we have here.

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Next week Tues. and Wed. will be very weird for me because I will no longer be camping here in DB waiting for the recap. I think the withdrawal will hit me the hardest next week because there's nothing more to watch and discuss. /cries Gotta go back to the real world and be a responsible adult. LOL

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Yes to King Yeong!!! the red royal robe looks so good on him. I'm not a fan of the red robe of the King and have always been partial to the blue robe of the crown prince in all the sageuks I've watched, but OMG PBG in it is just breath-taking! It suits him. Did you notice how his royal court is now seem to be populated with younger scholars and ministers? Change is coming!

Yes, you were right about Yeong not being the sun. I am so glad that the title was explained and it was Kim Hyung who did it.

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Yea, Im not so fond of the King robe, but I just want PBG to wear King robe, coz who knows when he does another sageul, and there are plenty of actors that never get to don on King robe so Im just glad. And it's also stay true to his character, which is double awesome

Yes, I notice the change in court officials too, probably because Yeong implement better examine system, clear out corruption

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I noticed the color is a bolder red too? Or was my eyes fooling me. He rocks every wardrobe there is.

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It does! It's a different shade of red. Like it's darker but also brighter compared to his father. I cannot help but cheer like a proud mother when he strutted. /cries

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Me too!!! Proud mama sniffles! Loved how tall and awesome he looked in red! The last hanbok was so beautiful!!!!!! The print on the fabric was amazing. Love him in light Colours actually

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I'm almost as in love with Yeong's hanbok as I am with Yeong himself. He had the best clothes, all soft fabric and pastels. Then with elegance with the deeper colours.

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@C-Chan
@Celine
@Anh
@maryxiah

LOL, you all not the only one to heart Yeong in his kingly robes. I love ALL of Yeong's hanboks in this show and the scarlet King robe is just the perfect icing on the cake. Yeong looks so royal and noble in it - what a dashing figure he cuts!

Yoon Sung's hanboks are also <3 <3! He rocks the hanbok look only slight less than PBG does. There is a slight slouch to Jinyoung's posture from some profile shots which spoils the look a wee bit. Yeong, on the other hand, carries himself like a king with shoulders back. *_*

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Anh, how do you always manage to stay on top? LOL.

It's a shame that the ratings didn't go higher, because I feel like the rating could be a huge boost for their morale for doing a great job! But anyway, I'm still happy they end above 20% mark.

Ugh (contented groan), I love every second of that kiss, especially when Park Bo-gum turn his head during the kiss, PERFECT! Lol @consummated. Every time he says, you will pay for it, she just assume she has to pay with a kiss! That.kills.me. Ahahahah. I'm assuming they're not married, yet, because Yeong commented that she was too busy to meet him. They can't possibly live apart while married right?

I feel bad for the queen too. That reminds me a funny moment when I was watching her scene last night. The baby cried when the queen was walking away, I had tears in my eyes when I heard my mom talking to my sister in the living room, "Where did that baby crying voice came from? People are gonna think we delivered a baby in here." And my sister was like, "Sis is watching drama in her room, it's probably from her drama." She kind of ruined the moment for me, lol.

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I'm happy with rating (all 3 shows rating dropped yesterday anyway) since the production team only expected 10%. And MDBC is already beating doctors rating.

I guess they are in dating period now? like proper dating? :D

I love the kiss too, even though it was still very typical deadfish kiss, but it pretty good compare to the other show kiss that couldn't even give a clear shot. Only if YJ was older, we would probably get a more passionated kiss.

Awww such a mood-wrecker

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Yeah, I'm surprised by the drop of rating in Moon Lovers too, like damn, that's too low. Moonlight only beat Doctors in the final week ratings, in average Doctors win by a small margin.

Yeah, I guess so, they're still young (not by Josen period standard), so they're starting out as lovers first?

Princess Myung-eun and Jang Duk-ho kiss was a deadfish kiss! It was a pain to watch! Lol. Damn Park Bo-gum for bringing so much feels from his kiss scene alone. I still love that kiss scene even if it's not a passionate one.

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Im not surprised at ML drop tho, since the episode was leaked on Monday because China aired the international ver (they took it down later but people already download the ep and upload to other sites), was expecting suitcase to go up but nope, all dramas rate went down

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@Anh
So that's what happened! I was wondering why everyone one was saying Monday's ML was pre-empted when I had already downloaded and watched it, oh and it explains why the video had both chinese and english subtitles!

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MDBC achieved way more... so so much more than what everyone expected. That is such a huge achievement in itself. And I'm glad that the special got 8.9% way more than its competition in that hour and it is also higher than its pilot episode. As we discuss online, the fansign is getting started and wow at the people who came! I read that there will be media/interview post-drama for the leads, so we may still get to see PBG and KYJ.

I wouldn't call the kiss in the end as deadfish kiss. It was actually nice and I love how PBG turned his head so it was not just one angle and how their lips touched while turning. It was chaste, but really really sweet appropriate for KYJ's age. If she were older though... lol we know that PBG can kiss passionately. To this day I am still surprised at how good Taek was able to kiss. lmao

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It was because of all the porn Taek watched growing up. LOL.

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Which drama is that where PBG kisses well? Is Taek his character name in that drama?

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@sogazelle Reply 1988 where PBG played Choi Taek

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OMG, @Dex! Hahahaha, I thought the same thing. Now I think I'll need to skim through Reply 1988 again to see Taek.

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I cannot watch Reply 1988 right now. *cries* My heart is still on YeongOn ship, it refuses to come down.

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I'd like to think that they're not married yet (because they so will, considering that Teacher Dasang is now some sort of Minister, and considering Ra On's his granddaughter...) because Yeong was cleaning up his government. Though PM Kim and his goons were gone, there're still a lot of Kims, and he probably had to find out who was corrupt and who wasn't.

Then, there's probably a little hesitancy to wed too because of the scandal with the Queen. Also, maybe, Yeong was being respectful to Ha Yeon's support and friendship by not jumping into marriage with Ra On right away.

That's just me, though. Plus, I think a dating period is really, really, really cute. They're probably sneaking to meet each other, trying to be all secretive, unaware that everyone knows and are just sighing in resignation.

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Teacher Dasan* and no, Ra-on is not her real granddaughter.

I think Yeong is giving Ra-on her freedom, sure being maarried would be great because they get to be together 24/7, but they still got a whole life ahead of them for that, and Ra-on hasn't properly enjoy living as a woman, as she has always longed to. So I'm guessing Yeong is giving her time, before wooing her into marriage, I'm sure. Boy probably couldn't wait a second longer, but being the gentleman he is, he had to honor Ra-on's wish to stay outside of palace for a bit longer.

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@maryxiah

Shoot, really? I honestly she was his granddaughter. What made you think that?

And yeah, agreed, I've never thought that Yeong and Ra On were particularly hasty when it came to big relationship decisions like marriage. Although, considering Joseon mindset, the ministers would probably want Yeong to stabilise the royalty as soon as possible and to them, that equates marriage and heirs. Then again, Yeong is a different brand of ruler altogether and his way of thinking tends towards stabilisation through good governance and public inclusion.

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It was in one of the episode, she and her mother were hiding in Teacher Dasan's house, and he kept it secret from the officials who came looking, clearly they weren't related by the exchange there. He did keep telling her not to call him grandfather because he isn't that old, lol.

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Did anyone see the trailer of Ra On, dressed as a eunuch, loosening her hair from its confines, in a room looked to be in the palace? Then we see Yeong in his room(?) looking anxiously at the door as if expecting someone.. Back to Ra On, she's putting on make up, changes into a beautiful white and orange hanbok and then selects a pair of shoes from a three tiered shoe rack. Finally we see her in Yeong's room, who reaches for her and they hold hands. Also there is a photoshoot of the couple holding a baby .. Is this the ending that the producers planned but dropped due to time constraint? I hope so.. So it would seem that in ep 18, Ra On was living outside the palace and Yeong would go to see her as well as to mix around with his people. Some time would have passed and Yeong would have succeeded in overturning the policy of marrying only to a noble and is now married to Ra On. Hence, the trailer showing Ra On in a room in the palace. Her being in a eunuch's outfit may mean that she's with Yeong in the daytime as his eunuch and after that goes to him as his queen. Now, that's what i call an ideal ending....

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@fanfor life

I believe the scene you just described is the opening/introduction scene for every episodes. It is a very funky, and mashed up between modern and historical as you can see some modern items throughout (PPL I guess, or the production just want to have some fun)

And I don't think this is the ending the team want to show as the finale, I believe the finale was intended as it is, since the team rejected the extension. Also the opening scene already there, no need to re-show it. We can all imagine.

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@Anh
@maryxiah

Yeah, Anh, how do you manage to post first on the recaps so often? You are amazing.

I was actually quite pleased to hear that Moonlight managed to recover back to its above 20% levels in the last 2 episodes and surpassed it's previous highest rating. A fitting send-off for the drama.

It would have been nice if the ratings could climb to 30%, but that's just me being greedy and actually wanting a reason to see PBG and KYJ on a guerrilla date (which they promised to do if ratings hit 30%). Muahahaha, clearly I can't get enough of these 2 people together at the moment!

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because moonlight recap usual up around 3pm my local time on tues and wed, and that's when I'm at uni, during my break so I just tend to refresh DB frequent and post my comment :)

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I'm greedy too because I wanted that guerrilla date. Sadly, we just have to wait other post Moonlight interviews, I'm sure the press couldn't get enough of them either, they're like fresh baked cakes, maybe after their vacation in Cebu? Gosh, I want to fly to Cebu to stalk them so bad.

Anh, I always time my refreshing time too, but I guess being at work distracts me a lot so I couldn't keep refreshing as often, lol.

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I read that they are scheduled for post drama interviews after their vacation.

I wonder if they will still do Guerilla Date even though they didn't reach 30%. I think Entertainment Weekly loves PBG and KYJ too much. If ever they do, I am sure they'd be mobbed like the fansign yesterday.

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Maybe Guerrilla Date might invite Park Bo-gum, given his popularity, also they tend to bring only one guest per interview.

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The Queen's character was protrayed so realistically. When she heard her baby cry, I personally felt the only things that could have caused her to stop in her tracks were: A) Everyone's expectations of her to react in an emotional way to the baby's cry, hence, questioning in that moment, her own humanity, or B) I've read that most new mothers have physical reactions to babies crying in their vacinity, i.e. lactating. I felt she had already given up her soul the first time she ordered her baby disposed of, so those reasons were the only ones to stop and make her think.

And this coincides with the fact that later on in her conversation with her father Premier Kim, the first thing she talks about is herself, and how she'd wanted nothing in her life but his approval. She'd become a soul-less person with nothing to love but her own self and needs, and her beginning to realize that was hurtful. It was pitiful and grotesqley protrayed, which made it so perfect.

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Please someone tell me was the baby killed or not? Lol I wish they would've made it clearer. Showed the baby at the end or something.

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Fran, nahhh. Yeong, being the upright and principled man he is, would never allow some stupid woman or palace laws to dispose of his baby sister. Not to mention that despite being a gisaeng's daughter, I think the baby would be allowed to live life as a princess in the palace, being the daughter of the King. The two wittle babies, princess and prince, would grown happily ever after with their many siblings and loved ones in the palace, despite their tragic beginnings

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The baby will just be a low rank princess, probably same rank as Princess YeongEun (she is called Ongju instead of Gongchu since Gongju is for princess from the Queen)

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But what will happen to the baby fake prince? The infant son of the court lady who died?

Surely he won't be raised as a prince?

And who was his father, anyway?

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@ Jamie

Even though they cant figure out who the baby's father is without DNA testing (I think), my imaginashuns tell me that due to the revolutionary changes King Yi Yeong and his father are bringing up about the court and its nation, they would find some loophole to keep the little baby boy as prince on court, especially because they can't know that he is not the former King's son.

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The senior actors are amazing. The Queen was wonderfully portrayed by Han Sooyeon. She's got good micro-expressions too just like his stepson. lol I'd say her acting is nuanced too and she does the wide-eyed acting so well and in the right moments.

I applaud the poker face of Premier Kim (Cheon Hojin) until the very end. His scheming and ambition must be so deep in his bones that he mastered being stone-faced and proud even to the last minute of his defeat.

Kim Seungsoo did well as the weak King. He did it so well that I was so frustrated with his character. lol

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Yes, the senior actors were really amazing, I especially loved Han Soo-yeon's portrayal of the queen. I so hated her everytime she was putting Ra-on in danger to get to Yeong but I couldn't help feeling for her when she was walking away from her baby with her face so conflicted, and her conversation with prime minister Kim when she said all she wanted was to be acknowledged by him, that was sad! and her VOICE, I love it!

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Oops.. azzia is supposed to be azzo!
It seems like I'm too excited replying without even checking my name, LOL!

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I agree, she rocked those moments with beautiful micro-expressions as well. However, while reallt good at it, I personally feel she still didnt do AS well as PBG....I honestly havent seen anyone do the wide range of emotions on screen like PBG. That man does it beautifully and perfectly and is just...beautiful too @.@

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Ooo yess Celine I agree that the senior actors performances were so polished, I never doubted anyone's character.

I like that you mentioned Kim Seungsoo. I looked him up before and it looks like he received quite a few awards from older dramas. Man I was so impressed with his portrayal of thing King from day 1. I agree his acting made me frustrated with his character, and further made me pity him with his anguished and heartbreaking crying scenes. I still remember the scene of him telling Yeong that not doing anything as King had been what was keeping him and everyone else he cared about safe...I compared his crying to Kim Soohyuns who has woed me with his crying 🤗😬....which I do often, which has its downsides 😳

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Agreed! I think the whole casts are amazing and in sync dynamically, and they complement each other so well, I don't think there ever was a time I feel thrown off by their characters.

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@Kakakash
Yes, the Queen's character grew more multi-dimensional as the series progressed, which was heartening because there is nothing worse than a 1-D cardboard cutout villain. Props to the actress playing the Queen - her various facial expressions and scary eyes were a standout. She really made the Queen character uniquely her own. Let's just put it this way, I won't ever confuse this Queen for others in other sageuks!

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Agreed, she made her character one of a kind. Her disturbing but often sad wide-eyed looks couldnt but make me wonder, shes absolutely gorgeous. I would find her so pretty if I didnt hate her character so much 😄

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@Kakakash I think the Queen is very pretty. More than hating her, I was a bit scared whenever she's onscreen. Because of how well she acted, I always had the feeling that she's capable of real damage. I feared for Raon every single time she had to face the Queen.

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@ Anh's insight:

Interesting to note

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I don't think she has given up her soul, more like she tried to deny her motherly instinct, you could see her face twitched in pain when Yeong challenged her to leave the baby crying. I feel bad for her and the baby, caught up in power play, and it was for a naught in the end. I really feel for her when the baby cried and she stopped in her track, I guess she's still a mother after all.

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I admire her tenacity. Her thirst for power ran deep that it overpowered her maternal instincts.

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Yess, i really like the ending as well. It is a perfect ending and i like how the drama give all characters a closure on their own.

Btw, where do you watch the special episode? i tried to find it at dramanice but it seems they are subbing it :/

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Dramafire has it :)
IT's just been uploaded, so Im off to watch it now

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Ah alright! off to watch it now too :D
thank you!

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Ahhh Ahn you just made my day, thanks for letting us know!

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Damn me getting names wrong: Anh

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link for dramafire please

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Unlike many fans here, i was expecting more from the last episode. The finale felt rushed in attempt to tie all the lose ends within one hour.

Also, many of the supporting characters were written out of the last episode. Byung Yung suddenly had to go on a trip, conveniently when the writers no longer had a use for him to drive the story. The Crown Princess resigned from her position? When she promised Young she'd be with him "until the end"? it makes me wonder what is the purpose of her role except to create angst and a rivalry btw Crown Princess & RO ? I also feel for Young to allow the Crown Princess to resign is uncharacteristic of him. He has shown to be a man who values those who are loyal to him and she has given herself to him wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Im upset at this move to conveniently rid of her in the end. I feel this is a weak attempt to satisfy the international audience who may not empathize with a polygamous male lead. The position of Crown Princess would never be filled by Ra-On, that is why the producer did not even go there in the end and have CP and RO meet outside of the palace. The drama ended without ever addressing how these two would possibly stay together, legitimately, as man and wife.

CP father may be a incompetent king, but he was capable of loving equally his queens and consorts. Think back on the scene where the Eunuch and female servant had a relationship in secrecy. The reason it was a huge deal was because all females within the palace are considered the king's women.

The crown princess is a woman ahead of her time. She willingly initiated the marriage knowing her love may be unrequited. It makes no sense that at the first sight of CP showing RO affection that she would withdraw herself and forfeit her promise to him.

A more fitting ending would be for the Crown Princess to rise above her circumstances and bring Ra-On back to CP. They would all resume life within the palace. This would be the ultimate sacrifice for her and will demonstrates to viewers that she isnt a threat to CP's and RO's relationship. From this CP would develop trust, respect and warm affections for Crown Princess, if not love. She would also be a valuable ally to RO.

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Ha-yeon role was not to bring the angst of a love-triangle, but it was to show her one-sided love, how much she willing to go for Yeong, and also, Yeong needs for family political power. That why the King wanted the wedding. But now that thigns settled, the Kim is no longer in power, she can be free from wanting to be his pillar of support. He's no longer needing her family.

And it wasn't that she give up when seeing first sight of RO and Yeong. She knew Yeong loves someone else ages ago, before wedding. She tried to get some comfort from Yeong and also tried to comfort him but that didn't work out. She also went through heartbreak herself when she knows RO true identity, that why she decided to go back to the original intention, that everything was just a deal.

I think seeing RO with Yeong makes HY realised that how much she try doesn't matter, and that she actually being a burden to Yeong, as he has to treat her with respect and try to put a facade on address her as his wife. That's why she want out, to free Yeong from feeling uncomfortable.

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I totally agree with you Anh.

Ha-yeon's role was pretty clear to me, she came from a family that the king needed to strengthen Yeong's political power and she knowing that Yeong had someone else in his heart still wanted to be by his side because she also knew that he needed that support, she chose to step back when she realized that he no longer needed that, so she was no longer entitled to fulfill that role, rather that being stuck in marriage with a one-sided love and heartaches she chose to be free herself, she made a decision!

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I totally agreed with Ahn and Azzo, HY did her best to full fill her role, though she tried to also hope he (CP) will give affection to her over time, but in the end reality sinks in and she bow down in her own way. I believed that even if yeong knew about her decision, he is also one to respect it, as he was even against it in the first place. Loved Everything about Moonlight!! thank you show for giving us this joyful EXPERIENCE!!!

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@Mimi
I don't blame you for finding the final episode rushed. It was rushed because the cast and crew had so many loose threads to tie in 1 hour. But I already expected that and was prepared for it because I knew about the sheer amount of ground needed to be covered.

In fact, what surprised me was that with the number of threads this episode managed to tie up, it could have easily felt even more hasty and slip-shod in its execution - bang bang bang, scene after scene without a break, giving us whiplash. But it didn't really do that. They managed to pace out the scenes and even introduce new ones to give the episode more depth and breadth. This is no small achievement, in my book.

Of course, when this episode (and episode 17 too, imo) is compared to other earlier Moonlight episodes holistically, the quality does fall short. Again, not surprising, given the live-shoot time constraints. But because the pay-offs here are very satisfactory to me, I am willing to overlook this flaw.

Re: Ha Yeon
I didn't see this final move as short-changing her at all. In fact, I was glad that they managed to (perhaps a bit too conveniently, lol) find a way to release her from her Crown Princess title because really, who wants to be stuck in a love-less marriage for the rest of one's life? Especially when one is nursing a one-sided unrequited love for the other side. That's serious torture and it can erode at one's humanity if continued...

And this was the scenario which Ha Yeon faced if she had stayed put in her position. As it is, she is now free to make her life however she wants it to be, and to find a more fulfilling and loving relationship in the future.

Yes, this set-up may be a bit contrived but it's the message it sends at the end of the day which makes it acceptable for me. Moonlight's premise of being a warm, youthful, charming, coming-of-age romance sageuk would have fallen a bit short if they left key characters hanging in unpalatable situations.

This show was always meant to give one warm-feel-good-vibes, to make us believe in the power of love, and in the beauty of hope in the future. Having Ha Yeon free to find her own world is but a validation of one of its themes. ^^

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Re: Ha-yeon

I also would like add, Ha-yeon explained it perfectly from her point of view when she asked to step down from crown princess position, she knew Yeong never loved her (he told her so many times), but she kept the hope, thinking that he might be moved by her sincerity and open up to her one day. But after recent episodes, with her efforts trying to provide comfort for Yeong (by showing up around him so often it annoyed the hell out of me), she realized she couldn't do what Ra-on could achieved easily, Yeong immediately softened up at the sight of Ra-on and smiled, something he had never done for Ha-yeon. I think why she couldn't give up before because she didn't see the couple's interaction and she didn't know the extent of their love, she foolishly think she could somehow move him, but when she finally saw that there was no room to fit her in, she decided to save herself from that heartbreak and live proudly as a single woman instead, and chose to bow out of the marriage. I think it's befitting her character, and I also think out of her love for Yeong, she'd rather him be happy than to force herself on him.

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Oh, I really like your analysis of HY. HY said that she didn't want to be a burden to CP. I think this alludes to the poisoning incident. CP took that tonic out of respect for her as a the crown princess. CP didn't blame her. In fact, I think it was hinted that CP may be appreciative of HY because it was she who noticed the poison before it was too late. But I think that HY takes this incident as proof that although CP treats her with the respect she deserves as crown princess 1) respect does not equal the ardor that she yearns for as a woman and 2) this respect brings certain obligations that will put CP in a difficult position in the future.

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@suegarbaby

"In fact, what surprised me was that with the number of threads this episode managed to tie up..."

I was surprised too. Last week I was worried how the final week will be like because there seem to be too much to tie up. However, when Episode 17 rolled in, I felt less worried and it looked like it's possible for the big things to be resolved. And then Episode 18 came and I was actually quite surprised that the loose ends were tied okay if not quite nicely. Yes, it seemed a bit
rushed in my opinion, but I like how the issues came in full circle. For example, Yeong was poisoned just like his mother which proceeded to the need to look into the culprit since the King have always told Yeong never to ask anymore about how the late Queen died. And then we got the chance to hear his mother give him more words of wisdom about being a ruler.

What I'm trying to say is, I kind of expected worse in how the loose ends will be tied. It ended up okay and they were all connected, so it did not feel as disjointed as I imagined. It could have been better though, but that's that and I'm okay with what we were given.

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I really do feel bad for the crown princess the most. I kinda wish crown princess and CP would've been able to develop a more politically grounded relationship, like the one I found in Six Flying Dragons. Alas..not this time.

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Tell it @Mimi! So many disneyfied kdrama fans commenting here. Yeong could never make Raon his queen. She's a commoner so the best she could ever be in that era would be a concubine. Most probably the most loved and favoured concubine but never the queen. Hayeon is the best bet for actual marriage to the crown prince.
I know it's not the romantic ending that international fans want to see, but it is the only one that makes any historical sense.

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I agree with all you said.
And yes, it is the most possible ending. I don't have a bias but this ending brings hope to those who would like happiness happen to those who deserve.
This does not need to follow 100% of the history.

But if we must follow the history: meaning CP died and if we still want him to live, then there's no other way than letting him "live" somewhere else in life, inside the people, not being recorded in history...and that means, someone else will become kings. That way, more things have to happen and that should be kept for a season 2 :D

However, I will not hope for season 2 because there must be a lot of political and historical hardship and pains to happen. Therefore, we would love to stop at this ending and keep hopes and dream for good things as per our imagination. That how this become a happy ending.

The only thing we are short of might be an extra of 15-30 minutes or more (or 1-2 more episodes) for more sweet scenes for our heros and more scenes that explain human sides of other characters as well (all lives are "heavy" as each other" in different ways). But because this is a mini drama, we can't expect more than this. Usually historical drama will be at least 20 to 30 episodes since there are so many dots and bottlenecks you will have to settle before the drama ends.)

I am happy with this ending and the last scene of our couple leaves a beautiful feeling and so dreamy that we would want to be in love with someone right now!

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I feel you, I was expecting more cute scenes between the OTP in the ending, I guess beggar can't be choosers, they did give us their ultimate happy ending with a kiss on top, so I'm just gonna take what I can get and savor it for a long long time.

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yay!thank you for feeling the same!

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The bracelet scene topped the ending kiss for me! :) That satisfaction in Yeong's smile was on point!

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Yes me too!!!! The bracelet scene was so beautiful, they got to showcase their acting (they have totally perfected the art of loving and longing for each other through their gazes) -- and I LOVED Yeong's smile when he unveiled Ra On's mask and saw the bracelet.... Hearts!!! The feels are REAL I rewatched that scene so many times and still get goosebumps! The kisses and stuff are nice but I'm so hooked on watching them look at each other. They have really set the gold standard for sageuk intimacy. Lesser actors would not have carried it off and would NEED skinship / steamy kiss scenes to generate chemistry or excitement in the otp! But our babies do it with ACTING and Chemistry!

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The way his lips just curved into a smile really did it for me, I was grinning the whole time too, who knew a mere bracelet could bring such a huge significant?

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@mehungie

I love that scene of him finding out that she's wearing his bracelet! I'm not sure if it topped the ending kiss scene for me, but I really really love that bracelet scene. It's been a long time since we last saw YeongOn together and in that scene we got to see Raon nursing Yeong and then when he saw the bracelet and he smiled and like you said he looked so happy and satisfied knowing that nothing changed between them despite the separation.

What made it more special and frankly surprising was because Yeong told Hayeon when she asked about the missing bracelet was that he still has it somewhere. So I thought Yeong picked up the beads and kept them. Now that wouldn't have that much impact because that's his in the first place. However, having Raon be the one to have kept and worn it, it meant so much more.

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Forgot to add that like what @Minsunie said, I also love the scene when Yeong slowly took off the mask and when he said he hesitated for long because he was scared it won't be her. I thought, omg so for those times that Raon was actually there nursing him, he was pretending to be sleeping or something?! I was quietly squealing and got butterflies in my stomach. It's more meaningful because this was their first real intimate interaction since the separation and they have not seen each other for a month.

The loving gazes of YeongOn are just real and make me feel so in the moment that my feels are just too strong. I've always thought that PBG and KYJ didn't need skinship to sell the romance (though of course I will not complain when there is skinship). Their eyes alone coupled with the words they have for each other are enough to make me feel the love. I think that's a testament to how well two leads are as actors and are capable of selling the romance.

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@Celine I completely forgot Yeong told Ha-yeon he stored the bracelet somewhere else, when he said that my heart bled for him because I could almost imagine him picking up the beads on the floor like they were his heart shattered into pieces, I thought how sad was that? When it was revealed that Ra-on had the bracelet instead, I was overjoyed! It's a huge step for our Ra-on, because she's a firm believer of running instead of confronting, so when she kept the bracelet and subsequently kept the hope, I lost it, cried real tears in that scene.

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I've watched this scene over and over again about a few dozen times now. Since the attic scene, we have not seen these two alone together drowning deep into each other's eyes. Add the tender craddling of her face, my heart is now coated with an insulated protective layer that can endure till we meet again!

btw, this PBG Magic is freakin' no joke! I can't get him out of my mind!

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@Helen

Yes. The PBG Magic/Effect whatever you want to call it is no joke. Various actors in the industry have attested to the fact that it is real. haha!

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Never in my 10+ years of drama watching have I watched a drama with so much sexual tension and lust as this drama. My mind is blown! Mostly because PBG and KYJ are so young. I don't know how they can convey this kind of intimate longing without having been in a deep passionate relationship themselves in real life (I don't mean with one another - I mean having experienced this kind of passion in real life with another person). Definitely KYJ is too young for this, but boy, she nailed it!

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Not even gonna lie, I fully expected Byeong Yun to bump into Ha Yeon as she was headed for the docks that I even screamed a little. Alas, it did not happen, because Byeong Yun loves the Prince (now KING! YAAAAAS) too much to be away from him forever HAHAHAHA

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BrOTP for life, YeongYeon :)
Plus BY always has the intention to return to Yeong, since the beginning of this ep

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Bromance FTW! How sweet it is when Byung-yeon said he'd come back for Yeong and Ra-on, I think he must have considered her Yeong's queen. Daww.

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I got the same vibe from the lines about payment. I had wondered if the lines in the field had a hidden meaning as well, about maybe a child, but the interpretation that i saw was more on the lines of 'i just took a peek into the world you will create" then she said 'are you asking about the first citizen that you will create as king' or something close? when he answers that she is the person that has filled his world, it made sense. But in reading the interpretation here, it seems someone was a little off with the meaning, i got nowhere close to what i'm reading here. That is the problem w/not being able to formulate the sentances, huh?!LOL! My only other problem, i felt that they cowtowed to the public that was making all of the complaints in the beginning about Ra On showing her shoulders and being too young to kiss him etc. They didn't show it close enough but for a couple seconds, but it was long enough for me to see that he was kissing the area between her top lip and nose, to the side, so as to look like a good steamy kiss. The problem was, after I saw it, i couldn't unsee it, and it was more of a 'seriously!' all of this ends for me with a forced fake kiss! It let the air out of the scene, for me anyway, and disappointed me that people couldn't grasp thae fact that this is a young woman that works as an actress, and is playing the part of a, by this time 20 yr old at least woman-she was 18 for the longest time everytime they looked for her, then they said a yr passed, so she was at least nearing it or more!LOL! if she had been in this part in a movie instead, nothing would have been said, and nothing that she did was bad, even by conservative standards, so i just don't get it. I understand why, I just don't get why it has to be.. anyway, loved the drama, and enjoyed the review that you and the writer here gave.

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yea, it's a pity that KBS wants to keep it chaste, but their electrifying gazes that full of lust already make me squeal and head over heel believing in OTP

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As a member of the thirst squad, I don't see anything wrong with the kiss. Looks good enough for me, for goodness sake, she's only 17, of course they'd want to protect her.

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Personally, I don't really care that they ever kissed. The first kiss was necessary, in order to firmly establish CP's love for RO and to advance the romance. After that, I did not care about them kissing. I don't have anything negative to say about the last kiss at the end of episode 18. It was a great way to end the show but it was no more passionate than the countless other times CP and RO interact with one another and look at one another. I heard that the show is being censored for the kiss. I kind of chuckle. Really? They should censor the whole show, because the entire show is lustful.

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I agree with you that YS was better off dead. Right from the beginning episode, he went on saying that life was boring and was trying to find solace in painting.He hated the plan his grandfather had for him to be king. He never wanted it. When he fell for RO, at last he had some rreason to live. When he realised that he could never get RO's love, he lost hope. Worse, his grandfather tried to poison Yeong. He probably felt that as long as he was alive, his grandfather would try to put him on the throne. Plus, he must be tired of his clan's misdeeds. He went there to save RO but i dont think he mided dying. His life was a pain...

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I cant sleep at night thinking that this mdbc ends simple as it was...i thought when lee young throned to be a king he could marry raon,but what happen why this drama end like this???maybe she is underagedbtbthe time filming this drama but i am still hoping for the season 2 for the continous of their love story like descendant ot the sun part 2!!willing to wait for the next part of love in the moonlight til you turn 18 kim yoo jung!!!

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Moonlighters, I guess it’s farewell to us all, may us meet in another drama thread. It was a fun ride with you all, the table flips, the discussion of analogies and theories, the bawling and exploding feels, the spazzing about hanboks. It was worth it.

PS: BY finally washed his hair, dry and straighten it, coz now it's flat. I miss the messy hairdo tho.

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Till next drama! And I do miss the messy hair. Kim Hyuuung!

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I missed BY's hair, too. When I saw it in the last scenes, all I could think of was how he had lost his mane of glory! His was one of the best sageuk hairpieces I'd ever seen - where it made him look so much more handsome and added to his appeal...

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His hair... his pretty wavy hair.
It feels like he walked into a salon to get his hair straightened only that it didn't get finished because he had to leave to chase after some bad guys.

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@Anh
@neener
@Dramakichi
@stuffed

YES, I missed his lovely wavy mane of glory too! He looked so masculine and hot in it, what is this flat-ish style? (Thankfully we only had a short scene of it, lol).

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Kim Hyung had a rebond! LOL

What?? Are you saying goodbye already? We still have to party here. hihi!

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I'm still here for the party :)
Just saying my farewell beforehand

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Just when we talked about how he'd continue to have gorgeous hair, he had a flat hair in this episode and totally ruin it for me, lol!

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I'm going assume that at the end of the whole drama and everything has been packed, the stylist just couldn't go unpack a new can of dry shampo or hairspray and fix Kim Hyung's awesome mane of Glory... that's the excuse i'm sticking to for a otherwise perfect drama 😁😁

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BAHAHAHAH You crack me up so much!

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Hehe....RL cannot be perfect so I'm quite easy to please in my dramaverse.
To me MDBC has the cute, the angst, the most beautiful cinematography, OST that can flip my emotions perfectly on a dime, the plot that flows( might not to everyone's version, but hey....)& the facts that the main characters are played by talented and good lookig actors, double goodies to me.
So, heck yeah, MDBC is one of my top kdrama of all time, and I will take a few draggy episodes and some messy hair anytime.It has as close to perfect drama and its ending as I can ( dream) of . After all, for the love of GY, I endured a drama called Big and THAT was a prime example of WTH!!

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LOL maryxiah! I thought it was a cute change...

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Amen to that Ahn, I always enjoy reading your thoughtful insights, though I don't comment much, but enjoyed it nonetheless 😊

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you're welcome dear, hope you're coping well with the withdrawal

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My heart is full and in this episode so many people got to be heroes:

Dammit Yoon-Sung, you loyal, romantic bad-ass. I cried ugly cause I knew there was no YS waiting around to save him. And while he yet again saved her while others' attentions were elsewhere, I'm glad the show honored him by having Ra--On consoling and cradling him in the end (RO telling him to get up cause the floor was cold only twisted the knife further).

Ha-Yeon bravely deciding to step aside from being the Crown Princess even though it would mark her for the rest of her life. And yay for the King recognizing that her awesomeness should not go hidden in a bushel.

The little princess--so determined to get what her big brother needed and expressing this almost entirely without saying a word. (And Ra-On bravely and secretly helping her).

And the show continued to slay on other fronts:

Great music direction again; the music swelled just as we and CP saw the bracelet on Ra On's wrist and my cold black heart grew 20 sizes larger.

And yes to BY's awesome new bangs and CP now in the red robes (PBG rocked every damn hanbok)!

Thank you Javabeans and fellow Beanies for being such lovely viewing companions! I loved reading about a show that deserved everyone's thoughtful analysis and SQUEES!, GIFs, and table flipping and you all helped me see the show in different ways.

As rough as episodes 13-16 were, I think I can bear them now (I'm definitely marathoning this for a lazy weekend) as part of the overall execution and production. The suffering through the angst is much harder when you're taking in the show pieces at a time and are worried that the production may take a turn at the end but I am pleased overall.

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Right? My heart feels so full as well. Like I'm bursting with so much wonderful emotion and love for this show. After this, I'll feel empty every Mon-Tues. I can always re-watch though which is so on my list. hihi

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I was just thinking the same. Now I can watch ep 13-16 again without all my guards up. I'll be thinking about you @kayak as I marathon this weekend too!

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I'm glad that at least Yoon-sung died in the arms of the one woman he loves, and when Ra-on cried for him and told him she was sorry for always causing her heartbreak, I think that's a big consolation for him. He couldn't be with her, but she's always thankful for him and his presence.

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The End. I still cannot believe that it ended.

THAT cameo, Kim Seul Gi. I love her. That wink. Perfect.

One of the MANY things I love about this drama is that the ending did not really focus on the OTP. Don’t get me wrong, I love our OTP. But I’m just happy that everyone had their own rightful ending. Except for Yoon Sung.
They just have to kill one, and this time there’s no turning back. Whoever said in the previous recap about the robes switching. I think it was Kiara, that was genius! That's what really happened. I do think that his death was useless and it was just done in order to fulfil that stupid prophecy! Credits to Jinyoung in that final scene. I cried and if that scene was played with a rain I would have sang 'A Little Fall of Rain' from Les Mis.

Ha Yeon, oh girl, I would love to see you in another country and have that prince love you like no other person would. Or any man that would value you for who you are.

The young princess is back and we all knew that she would be the key to the fall of PM Kim. She will definitely go to places after this drama. As for the PM, figured he would kill himself, a man with that kind of power and pride would never accept the fact that he would rot in prison. And I do feel a little, just a little, sad for the queen.

When Yeong entered the Royal Court, I felt really proud as a Moonlighter. We’ve come this far. After all the tears and fake deaths (still can’t believe you did to Yoon Sung, Show!). I did expect Ra On to be queen but I understand why it did not play out in the drama and they left it to us to imagine. Knowing Yeong, she wouldn’t just stay as an author selling books. She would find her rightful place beside him and they would have cute babies and live happily ever after.

I tried and tried to think what really MDBC meant and damn, isn’t it such a wonderful meaning? No wonder I love it when the moon is surrounded by the clouds. And every time I look at the moon, I will remember this Show with a smile on my face and a thankful heart!

TO the cast and crew: CONGRATULATIONS! It was indeed one of the best dramas there is and all thanks to everyone. If I can give them a hug, I would. Indeed, you deserve that vacation in Cebu. Hoping to see you though, if not, enjoy the beach and the food.

TO ALL MOONLIGHTERS: THANK YOU! For making this journey awesome, full of tears, laughter and insights! I wouldn’t exchange it for anything out there, oorrrr maybe expect seeing the cast in person??? Thank you , thank you, thank you!

Once a Moonlighter, always a Moonlighter!

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THAT cameo, Kim Seul Gi. I love her. That wink. Perfect

ooh, love this meta so much!!

the small banter ala my scenario
person 1 : we have 2 girls cosplaying as eunuch story
the PD : oh right
person 2: yeah they both get the king's attention
the Pd : *looking up the phone
person 1 : they kinda looked like each other
the PD : typed up number furiously
person 2: would be good it both pre-produced so we can get an alternate universe
the PD : (scream) we got extended scene!!! Kim Seul Gi came in 2 hours
person 1 & 2 : looking from a distance, winked and tossed each other hands
opening their bag and there's kim seul gi pic there
(voice over : I knew this is a good idea)

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A fun fact/6th degree of separation: woori YS plays a younger brother to KSG in 2014 movie Miss Granny. You might missed him since he was a blondie and his acting skills were still raw.
I, too, love KSG's cameo here since I love Splish Splash Love... another fusion saeguk with cute OTP.

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Kim Seul Gi! What a fun surprise to see her in that final eunuch scene! Makes me wanna watch Splish Splash all over again!!!

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Ya Ya Kim Seul Gi cameo was the best!

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Love the cameo OMG! I was so surprised!!! Kim Seulgi!!!

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When I saw her, I cheered and applauded so loudly that I'm sure my neighbors heard me. 😄

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Exactly my reaction! LOL.

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Me too!! One of the best cameo reference. I am a big fan of Splash Splash Love too and SSL and MDBC are the only two saguek i ever watched! Loving them!

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@neener
@Dramakichi
@Celine

Re: Kim Seul Gi cameo
HAHAHA! Me too! I have to admit, I was so shocked, I paused the scene and blinked a few times just to be sure that my eyes were not tricking me and that it really was Kim Seul Gi from Splash Splash Love right there! Loved the meta-reference and the tongue-in-cheek callout! <3

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True words, yo. Once a Moonlighter, always a Moonlighter!

P/S: Can't believe I forgot about you in my shout out, neener! <3

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It's alright, no harm done.

Without the Moonlighters, this experience would not be as awesome as the drama so I thank you too <3!

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Yippee....rainbow and unicorns ending.....
Im sad about YS but the drama ends as close to perfection as can be.

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I find it hard to pen down my thoughts today, partly because I loathe saying goodbye to this amazing show that brought so much feels, partly because I find it hard to comment without nitpicking. There are so many things that I wish Moonlight could have done better, plot wise and character wise. But after watching the special last night, I realized this team went above and beyond in their effort to bring such a marvelous show, I know to an extent of their hard work, but seeing it with my own eyes change my perception entirely. I don't know how they could pull through, amassing such a big crew, yet manage to stay focus and deliver each episode with so much wit, charms and intensity. I'm forever amazed by them. This show isn't without its flaws, but it certainly hits all the right button for me, I enjoyed it more than I have had in other shows, I think some beanies could see it in my obsession, especially when I camped out in the recap comment for days, I hope I didn't scare you guys, lol.

What makes this show so endearing to me, isn't just the exceptional effort put forth by the casts and crew, but also the Moonlight community we have here in Dramabeans. I find great strength and comfort watching this great show with you folks here in Dramabeans. This show has been an amazing watch because I have you guys here to share thoughts, discuss opinions, presenting sensible arguments, and conjuring up theories. Every time I watched a new episode of Moonlight, I found myself wondering, "How would the other beanies think of this scene?" "Can't wait to read their thoughts on this." "I bet the others are squeeing so hard/crying their eyes out in this scene." "I don't get this, maybe the other beanies will provide a great explanation or insight on this." I love reading every comment in Moonlight recap section, and I always make an effort to read every comment when I have the time. I feel sad to say goodbye to you guys, I hope this won't be the last we see each other, and hopefully we get to greet one another in a possibly great show in the future.

I think Moonlight Drawn by Clouds will remain one of my most beloved drama, a classic that I will remember for a long long time. Here, I'm sending out my love to everyone who makes Moonlight possible, from the casts and crew, sponsors, KBS channel and all fans who have come to love Moonlight.

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I also want to give a special shout-out to some of the beanies I have the pleasure to interact with in the comment:
Anh - My Moonlight informant who is always on top of every news.
Celine, suegarbaby, C-chan - Always look forward to reading your thoughts/insights.
Crazyahjummafan - My thirst squad leader! <3 Without you, I wouldn't have the courage to share my imagination, lol.
Peeps - Whose witty screencaps I always look forward to read.
Sancheezy - Emoji master to my table's rescue.
Michykdrama - Gifs master that encapsulates every precious moment of Moonlight.
cynkdf - Hwang Chi-yeol's greatest fan that always bring a smile to my face.
Kayak, Taeki's horse-riding Teacher - Always crack me up with their posts.
Kiara - Whose knowledge in sageuk always awes me, and interest in history accuracy that strikes a chord with me.
Not to forget: Mehungie, Bubblegum, Kakakash, Quillene Petite, redfox, Imbuk, Helen, Linda from Singapore, azzo, Elle, Mihanhni, Blu, lin...
For those I forgot to mention, sorry~ Know it in my heart that I love you guys lots!

And my apology for always writing up long comment, and taking up huge space! I know some of you probably don't read it, but thank you for taking the time to read and respond.

P/S: Will post thoughts on today's episode later, lol.

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@maryxiah LMAO - thanks for the shout-out! Made my day :) . LOVE your posts. More later, haven't watched with Eng subs. Best wishes from Singapore

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Thanks! It's been a fun ride, I hope there will be sub for the special 85min ep

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yaaa!!!

キタ━━ヽ( `・ω・)人( ^ω^)人( ゚Д゚)人(´∀`)人(・∀・ )人(゚∀゚ )人(^Д^ )ノ━━!!

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What's that I hear? A collective sigh of relief from all @Sancheezy's emoji tables at today's happy ending! The tables are safe!

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it's the group hug without a table . . . haha cause we already throw them all,....

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Awwww... thanks for the shoutout! Really enjoy reading your thoughts too! Will catch up soon-ish as it's 5am here and I have been up all night just to make this posting! LOL! Time for bed! *crawls off*

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/HUGS EVERYONE

Part of how much I enjoyed Moonlight is the community we have here. Thank you for all your inputs and lively discussions. Hope to see you guys in another great drama.

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Also, I would like to thank (besides @maryxiah) @Celine @Anh @Sancheezy @lunatic4kd @Labyrinth532 and anyone else who praised Hwang Chi Yeul's singing - it's so rare to see him mentioned here on DB that I was overjoyed when I learnt he was going to sing for MDBC. In a surprise Vlive broadcast from Beijing yesterday, Chi Yeul himself said he was honoured to sing one of the OSTs for the drama. HCY and MDBC fighting!

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Love his voice and take on the song. So chilling!

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I can't believe that DB has chi yeol fans too,
I clearly remember how sad I am that he didn't get picked on ICSYV ep 2, then come as panelist ep 4,
then I saw him on the IS 2 thumbnail, watched all his performance and even watched him on I am a Singer

I love his album and I hope he'll be getting more opportunity for OST,
I would love to hear him singing OST like Stigma-Slave Hunter, the action OST

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*blows kisses to everyone!*

Yes I'm going to miss all you Beanies here as much or even more than the Show itself.

Was really fun live watching and commenting with you all. And gif-ing this awesome show.

Maybe we will meet again at the next show with either PBG, KYJ, JY or KDY! ❤️

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