Death makes it mark in this episode of "Empress Qi". It reminds the main characters of their own mortality and how quickly the tides may change. It is countered by life and what it fosters in people: hope. The two opposite forces battle as fiercely as the players of the political game do to win the upper hand.
The women deal with pregnancy and the hope it brings. It clearly defines social status within the palace and the moods of Tanisiri, the dowager empress and those surrounding them depend heavily upon it. Tanisiri is struggling to conceive, which forces her to contend with the political ramifications of infertility as an empress in a way that proves her to be a strong woman and a strong character. Baek Jin-hee is wonderful as the strong-willed, nasty-tempered and secretly vulnerable Tanisiri.
There is a time skip in the episode that proves Tanisiri a strong woman. The other characters and story elements weather the time skip well. The development of drama's world during that time is fairly clearly explained. Only Ta-hwan remains vague. He is attempting to regain what little political power he hand and to increase it, but not much was shown about how he was going about it. It will probably be the subject of the following episodes. It was bizarre to show how Seung-nyang, Wang Yoo and Tanisiri managed throughout that time, but not the engaging puppet emperor.
A strong point was that the pace slowed and focused instead on Seung-nyang who hasn't really had much time to shine. It was refreshing to see her finally highlighted. Rather than emphasize her skills, she was allowed to explore her femininity and grow closer to Lady Noh, who became a surrogate mother to her.
As for El Temur and his legion of bad guys, he continues to do horrible things in the name of protecting the Yuan people when he really wants to retain power. What makes him a great villain is his cleverness. He never lapses for long and always manages to keep the good guys on their toes. If only there was more than one clever villain. I'm waiting for his sons to really step up and make trouble that isn't born of stupidity or stubborn pride.
"Empress Qi" is nearing the halfway mark and I expect a shift of some sort to happen in order to launch the drama into its second half and keep it moving full steam ahead.
Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy
Follow on Twitter @raine0211
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Empress Qi" Episode 22"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.