Yeon-hee (played by Jung Yoo-mi) was, at first glance, just Ttang-sae's motivation to become involved in the fight against Goryeo. But since the timeskip, we keep getting brief glimpses of her in a very important role- information mover. "Six Flying Dragons" very correctly recognizes that the women of history were far from helpless. Information is at a premium in an age where messages can easily be intercepted and subverted. That's a pretty big deal considering how everything hinges on the outcome of incredibly complicated plans.
In this way Do-jeon is a master of the political game, and it's easy to see how he's been able to amass so much support. Proper planning doesn't just mean winning. It means tricking the other guy into thinking that he's winning, so he'll pick a fight that he's going to lose. This is classic Eastern style statecraft in the vein of Sun Tzu. Winning in the long run means avoiding battles more than it means actually fighting them, which is why so much of "Six Flying Dragons" is just about the planning phase.
Except where Bang-won is concerned. Since this episode is mostly about politics we don't get too much Bang-won, but what we do see really emphasizes how he has a completely different philosophy. Bang-won picks fights and generally only survives through a combination of grit and luck. We see Muhyul slowly replacing Yeong-gyoo as Bang-won's right-hand man and for good reason. Muhyul doesn't have the sense to question Bang-won's plans.
...But really, aside from the usual historical perspective, the main setpiece here is atop another glorious mountain. What with the way most of the dragons obsess over the greater good, scenes like this are really important reminders that stripped of all their armor, these characters are just people. They've been recruited into this fight because life under the Goryeo regime has become too unbearable, and aren't even interested in their own wants or happiness anymore. At this point, happiness for them is vengeance.
It's rather bittersweet contrasting this attitude with the more political elements of the drama. The main reason why Do-jeon's plan works is because, somewhat paradoxically, the very same vain self-interest that has led to the decay of Goryeo is also the tool that Do-jeon plans to use to destroy it. The bad guys are bad not because they're evil, but because they lack any sense of honor or comradery. Most importantly, though, they don't realize how many enemies they've made over the years outside the educated class. That much will soon change.
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 9"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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