"Empress Qi" is at its strongest on Tuesdays. Episode 33 was exciting, grand, and chock full of great material. It came together as a piece of art, a well-wrought story, and was one of the most entertaining episodes to date.
The characters see a lot of growth because they are vulnerable physically and emotionally. Wang Yoo finally makes a mistake, which forces him to make choice that is not readily understood - it made him incredibly intriguing in the way that he was only in the earliest episodes.
Tanisiri and Seung-nyang have a face off that is worthy of the time we had to wait for it. Baek Jin-hee and Ha Ji-won were fantastic as the two powerful women clashing with nothing left to lose. This juicy stuff is what I've been waiting for. It was a physically and emotionally intense scene that redefines their relationship and fuels the mutual hatred further.
Then there is the physical beauty of the show that is reinforced by the scenes shot in the forest. Nature's beauty combined with the detailed wardrobes, complicated sets and elaborate accessories really make "Empress Qi" a visual indulgence. Combined with this was the clean, well-executed fight choreography that used the forest, leaves and trees.
Romantically, Ta-hwan and Seung-nyang grow closer. He respects her hesitation at becoming intimate, which earns more of her trust. He's growing up and learning not just to love her and the idea of her, but to actually consider how she feels. It's a far cry from the selfish man-child he was when he was exiled in Goryeo.
Lastly, there is El Temur who must severely struggle to keep his power. Keep he does, but the costs are dear and that is satisfying to me as a viewer. I'm more than ready to see him fail and along with him his selfish sons and underlings. How they will fail will be the journey and that is what I will be watching for. That, and how Seung-nyang will wriggle her way out of the serious bind she's in.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Empress Qi" Episode 33"
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