Sa-gwang (played by Han Ye-ri) is yet another important antagonistic character in "Six Flying Dragons". You know, it bears repeating- this drama has way too many characters to keep track of. It's relatively easy to remember who Sa-gwang is mainly because to date we haven't had any other women swordfighters. But back when Sa-gwang was just Yoon-rang I couldn't even figure out why she was in the story at all. Shoot, I didn't even notice she was being played by Han Ye-ri, who normally works in film.
History does eventually manage to explain all of this, as Goryeo gains its final King- a man with no apparent political skill or intelligence whatsoever who had to be talked into the job. Big surprise there, given the fate of the last two kings. Even granting that King Woo was kind of a jerk, it's really difficult to rationalize what happens to King Chang. The poor little guy hadn't even made his tenth birthday yet, and look at how he's dragged in.
The moral ambiguity here is very thick. More significantly, it's not really addressed, which is deliberate. It's been so long since Bang-won has been motivated by a genuine ethical crisis that he doesn't actually seem to appreciate that the entire reason everyone has been working so hard to overthrow Goryeo is because of its inherently corrupt political system. For him, the only relevant question at stake is fairness. And after all the work Bang-won has gone through, he obviously thinks he has been treated unfairly.
This much does bolster Bang-won's rather interesting relationship with Ryoon. After Ryoon's very omnious appearance on the scene several episodes ago, and his relatively quick defeat thereafter, Ryoon has been relegated to the background. He's a man of obvious skill who, like every other character not affiliated with a secret political organization, really just wants to survive the political mess alive. So as tempting as it is to make Ryoon out to be the bad guy here, in reality his willingness to play a passive role has been very well established.
So, more of the usual for "Six Flying Dragons". I do have to admit that of the many hats this drama wears, "excessively elaborate political strategy" is probably my least favorite on account of the fact that it is so, so difficult to remember who all of these people are without resorting to a flowchart. I kind of want more characters to die just because it will make the story easier to keep track of. Unfortunately, Bang-won is thinking along the same lines.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Six Flying Dragons" Episode 30"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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