We're down to the wire. The last two episodes are ahead of us and the crown prince's fate is known. How it will be sealed is what "Secret Door" has to deliver. Seon is a hero in this rendition of Crown Prince Sado; a hero who is fighting forces greater than himself.
Seon has been determined to maintain an academy of brilliant minds comprised of people deemed by the ruling class as traitors, criminals, and too low born to be allowed to study and become government officials. To run this academy takes time, funds, and manpower, all of which eventually call attention to themselves. Those who are looking, like the once upright Minister Hong, have a wealth of ammunition to find that can and most probably will ruin the beloved crown prince.
Minister Hong is Seon's most belligerent enemy. Because he started out as a just man and has been slowly manipulated to evil deeds over the years, he has become even more defensive of his position. His pride is a primary motivator for his actions. Each moral trespass strengthens his resolve to attack the source of his pride's humiliation: Seon, the man who keeps eluding and besting him. Hong's obsessive desire to validate himself and defeat the prince makes him a dangerous foe and a likely contender for the man who ultimately brings down our tragic hero.
Princess Hyegyeong has a larger stake in the political arena now that her son has been named crown prince descendent and her actions this episode prove it. She has been exceedingly loyal to her husband, but when she discovers the highly illegal academy, she can no longer be silent on Seon's behalf. It's time to take care of her son - and that makes her the leak. The betrayal is hugely powerful as a plot point even though Seon is not yet aware of it.
The relationship between Seon and his father only grows stronger as the king ages and weakens. Rather than attempt to change his stubborn, wayward son, he instead teaches him to be discreet and shows pride when Seon does so. Each nod of approval is so poignant because the viewer knows the end of this ill-fated relationship draws near.
The king hasn't yet lost all of his fire and his cunning mind has retained its edge with age. It is he who buys time for Seon whose convictions lead him down dangerous roads. Where the king once fought Seon, he now protects him. It's a mighty change for a man who was once as solidly convinced of his position as his son currently is of his. The progression of this character has been a wonderful journey to follow.
The last two episodes are nigh and I anticipate them. I've grown to love these characters and I hate to see them go. Good job, show. That's exactly what you want.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
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] "Secret Door" Episode 22"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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