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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 21

2015/02/14 | Permalink

King Seonjo comes face-to-face with his own demons in the form of a man he once trusted: Do-chi. Like the king, Do-chi is filled with arrogance and the idea that he is invincible. Neither are prepared for their downfalls, which makes this episode and their crash to rock bottom the most engaging thus far.

Do-chi has spent years manipulating and lying to people, building up his power base and hoping to bring about change in Joseon. The irony of it all is that he has turned into the man he despises in order to do it. He has become as twisted as he imagined King Seonjo to be. All of his deceptions are now coming back to haunt him and the poetic twist is that he is too corrupted by the power he accuses the king of abusing to see what he has become. It's the best part of his character's creation, this culmination of his pathetic being.

Gah-hee, on the other hand, has come into her own while Do-chi jumped off the deep end. She stands strong in the face of the new, very arrogant queen and works well with Gwanghae's quiet, but strong-willed wife. I like that the women have a larger role to play now as they sorely lacked any veritable activity. Although Ga-hee was a warrior, she was still two dimensional and that warrior's spirit didn't seem to carry over into her life as the king's companion. Now it finally shines through and makes me wish for character consistency.

The introduction of Queen Inmok, like the introduction of Heo Gyeon a few episodes ago, serves the same purpose - bringing in a fresh face and along with it new interest. Unfortunately Heo Gyeon's novelty quickly wore off safe for the rare spats he has with Eunuch Im. Queen Inmok could hold some intrigue, but the writers do away with her insecurity and only show the arrogance that masks it, creating yet another stale character.

Also, the direction sometimes tries to be creative in the form of quick camera cuts that are more nauseating than effective. It's a flailing attempt to grasp for more solid written ground that fails.

Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"The King's Face" is directed by Cha Yeong-hoon and Yoon Seong-sik, written by Lee Hyang-hee and Yoon Soo-jeong, and features Seo In-guk, Jo Yoon-hee, Lee Sung-jae, and Shin Sung-rok.


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