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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Royal Gambler" Episode 22

The story did jump ahead to focus on the Musin Rebellion and it chooses to skip a lot of what made King Yeongjo such an effective leader, instead painting him as ruthless while Dae-gil is the voice of reason and of the people. The personality change in Yeongjo (formerly Prince Yeoning) is troubling as was Dae-gil's shift from buffoon to cool-headed military leader. He lost most of what made him fun.

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There is a major time skip in this episode that is not clearly defined by the writer. I wouldn't mind a written indicator of the time skip rather than relying on beards, children, and greying hair. The key event in Yi In-jwa's life is his leadership and masterminding of the Musin Rebellion that this episode depicted. We saw very little of how he built it up, which again presents In-jwa as a mystical figure rather than a political and military mastermind. Major cities fell to his plans and thousands of people chose to follow him and his dreams. It seems as though Dae-gil will be the major counter to In-jwa rather than King Yeongjo. I don't really feel one way or the other about that.

Female characters don't really have much sway in this drama. Even King Gyeongjong's widow seems to make an impotent appearance. Seol Im and Gol-sa's daughter are Dae-gil's pawns. The show has always been about Yeongjo and Dae-gil, but the fact that all the female characters are cast aside is troubling. No, these women didn't have much overt power, but they could manipulate behind the scenes. Very little of that happens here.

In any case, there is one week to wrap up the Musin Rebellion, show Yeongjo's awesome reign, and conclude Dae-gil's quiet story.

Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"The Royal Gambler" is directed by Nam Geon, written by Kwon Soon-gyoo, and features Jang Keun-suk, Yeo Jin-goo, Jeon Kwan-ryeol, Choi Min-soo, Lim Ji-yeon, and Yoon Jin-seo.

 

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