Love and conspiracy are in full bloom in this week's episode of "Hwarang". Those opposed to the queen and current royal family chip away at the secrets that protect Ji-dwi and his mother while Seon-woo and Aro revel in their new love.
I did not much like the romance before, but with the air cleared, the main couple is endearing and brimming with chemistry. Seon-woo is still a dull character. Park Seo-joon is a good actor so I'm going to attribute his rather vanilla acting to the direction. The same holds true for Go Ara. The two are better together than separate.
Park Hyung-sik, however, is consistently good. Admittedly, his character is much better developed than either Park's or Go's. Both internal and external factors contribute to his development and he has relatable pressures on him to either grow and change or collapse under the weight of his secret responsibility. One of the most endearing factors of Ji-dwi is that he is open to change, to learning, to making friends. He befriends Seon-woo and falls in with the other hwarang even if a bit reluctantly. New to this episode is a challenge to his identity. Minister Park, Ban-ryu's adopted father, has discovered who he believes to the be the king and informs the hwarang that the king is amongst them. This will definitely stir up tension for the future. It will force both the queen's hand and Ji-dwi's hand. I have faith in Ji-dwi, though. He's on the right path.
Princess Sook Myung is till totally a dud. Her sole purpose, as of right now, is to be a clone of the queen and a love rival for Aro. She is mindlessly cruel and without any sort of personality. Should this stony visage be only a visage that would be preferable, but as of thus far no insight has been made into her inner thoughts. Therefore, she's boring as all get out. Can we just get rid of her?
This episode delved into class politics, although not as thoroughly as I wish it would. It keeps scraping the surface with traded words between hwarang or secret meetings between ministers, but I'd like to see "Hwarang" really dig into the meat of the discrimination between men (and women.) We know those who have want to keep what they have and retain their power. We know those haven't want to shift the balance, especially Seon-woo. There have been no real plans to change it except to set up and develop the hwarang. I suppose that is what the rest of the show is for.
One last thing before I jump into episode 12, Seon-woo's health is worrisome, but is addressed no further than immediately curing and tending to his obvious injuries. Why was Aro's father not brought into to address the passing out and the arrow to the chest? All strange indeed...
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Note : due to licensing, videos may not be available in your country
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] "Hwarang" Episode 11"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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