Title: Empress Ki (8)
Watched: February 10th, 2014
Main thought: Dayum, I’m still not in the TWO-DIGITS YET!
February 14th-26th, 2014
Dang boys and girls, this is an INTENSE episode as well!!
But first, before I start anything: How are you all doing?! Whatever hardships you are facing right now, I hope that you know that you can overcome it! Let’s all work super hard towards our goal, all right?
I am immensely sorry that I publish this only now; I have been busy with school assignments, midterms and everything, so you’ll have to forgive me!
All right so, this episode in one sentence: Wang Yu is the King and NO ONE should question this!
I absolutely love the contrast that we’ve been having between Toghon and Wang Yu so far, so let me point it out:
I love how, in this episode, we saw Wang Yu kneel (to Yom-Plague, Wang Ko‘s right man, General Bayan, TalTal and Talahai), especially since Toghon was kneeling to El Temur the previous episode.
Have you realized how difficult it was for Wang Yu and his men to even put one knee on the ground? A king needs this pride, and a king should NEVER have to bow to anyone. That scene highlighted correctly how difficult it should be for someone in power to bow down to someone ‘inferior‘.
And then, you compare it to last week’s episode (I mean episode 7), when it was so easy for Toghon to get on his knees and completely kneel to El Temur, begging for his life. Toghon has no sense that he is an important person, and he shows this in the way he acts, in the way he kneels and in the way he begs for his life.
And then, compare Wang Yu‘s reaction to the fact that he’s seeing his Goryeo men, who have scorned him, be killed by the Turks with the fact that Toghon would just replace his people without a second thought.
Wang Yu is a sensitive lad, despite his brute persona, he cares so much for his people that, even when they reject him, he’ll still protect them (as shown TWICE now), when he protects the women in the previous episode (episode 7) AND when he tries to protect the men (this episode), despite the fact that they hate their King.
In comparison, Toghon does not react when he finds out Kwebo dies. He doesn’t do anything when Lord Zhang is gone from his side the MOMENT he steps into Yuan territory again. He mistreats his eunuchs as well as his retinue. He mistreats his subjects by NOT questioning the laws he signs, etc. etc.
Can you seriously blame me for, at this point, STILL rooting for Wang Yu to find happiness with Sungnyang? [or at least to find some sort of happiness? I really like the two of them together, but I also respect Wang Yu as a ruler SO MUCH MORE than I respect Toghon as one…]
Toghon‘s maturity is lower than low.
Toghon doesn’t seem shocked or anything that General Bayan is no longer by his side. Is that why he is having no plans whatsoever of revenge and strengthening El Temur‘s impression of him as a weak and incapable fool? Because he could have fooled me! Perhaps, the fact that General Bayan is gone made him revert back to his flawed self, because he’s not very good at planning and because, if you’ve noticed, Lord Zhang is NEVER by his side despite being his retainer…
One would have THOUGHT that his time in Goryeo would have changed him at least for the better, but Toghon still shows his incapacity. He’s not a hard worker, he doesn’t even do his ablutions or wake up before noon, he cares not for reading whatever law he has to put his “stamp of approval” in, and he still cannot fight, although he IS shown to spend some time honing his archery skills. By the way, what is this “training pillow training” thing exactly?
Something else which greatly separates the two rulers is their ability to survive as well as the ease they have with kneeling. In the previous episode, toghon showed his ease in the art of kneeling in order to survive. Wang Yu had difficulties performing the same act and only did so when he was threatened.
I like Toghon’s ‘eunuch’ (who is unnamed). I like him almost as much as I like Kwebo, whose disappearance I will never forgive. I don’t like how Toghon never changed his way of treating eunuchs and concubines, despite what his time with Sungnyang has taught him. I wonder why the eunuch never told the Empress Dowager or anyone else that he thinks Toghon might be homosexual.
I’m not saying Toghon doesn’t HAVE any redeeming qualities, as I ALWAYS mention, I’m looking forward to Toghon climbing mountains into my self-esteem.
Sungnyang, the badass woman
I was hoping that, when she’s revealed to be a woman, Sungnyang wouldn’t lose all of her badassness, and I was SO happy to see that she hasn’t. WAY TO GO, girl!
I’m proud of that ‘fight’ scene with the bullies, the fact that she maintains her military precision and is able to approximate the paces between where she’ll be standing and where Toghon will be standing, the fact that she’s able to kill a snake and make freaking poison out of it.
I’m also proud that she didn’t drop a single drop of water during her punishment, because, well, she resisted crying out when she received punishment as the Jackal, so it would make sense that, even as a girl, she maintains that!
I like how Sungnyang, during this episode, embodies the quote from William Congreve: “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned“. I look forward to seeing this wrath playing out in the story.
I like how she keeps her wits, she mentions Tangqishi‘s pestering her to defend her case of owning a knife, and she even plays with the Head Eunuch‘s emotions by mentioning that Tangqishi killed her mother and that she wouldn’t give in to his advances.
For Sungnyang to have been chosen amongst the people who would take care of the prime concubine for Toghon, there must NOT be a lot of servants who are from Goryeo, huh?
Wang Yu and his People
I’m so-so with the idea that Wang Yu has to fight Yom-Plague. Seriously, I think that Yom-Plague doesn’t deserve to fight one-on-one against Wang Yu. Wang Yu would be dirtying his blades for nothing.
General Ho is one of the best supporting characters. While he only has a few ‘humorous’ moments, he supports his King and would follow him to hell if he had to. I like how he offered his food, that he offered to break the rocks for him. I would have liked to know what happened between him and Wang Yu for him to be so devoted. We’ve seen Babysitter in the first episode, where he was already taking care of Wang Yu, but we haven’t seen General Ho’s introduction to him. I’d like to see it happen, please. MAKE IT HAPPEN, MAKE ME HAPPY!
I would’ve also wanted to see General Ho jump around to kill people. I miss seeing him fly.
I also love how he trusts his King will win.
Babysitter and Jombak‘s friendship is awesome, I ship their bromance. I am so-so with seeing Babysitter fight with a rock. He can do so much better. We’ve seen him wield swords before, why couldn’t they let him use one? Jombak is super badass, we should’ve seen him fight more.
The other Goryeo men shouldn’t have placed so many hopes onto their King. Even though Wang Yu did so much for them while he was in power, they shouldn’t expect him to have much power in a camp like this. I am disappointed, they’re just like the women he saved on the way to the Yuan. BUT, in the way that the women couldn’t be shown to have, the men have, in the same episode, put once again their trust onto Wang Yu! And this, is AWESOME!
Meanwhile, in the kitchen…
Hongdan, the sidekick
I want to see more of her, even though she’s clearly a tertiary character. I like the idea of Sungnyang having girl-friends. I like how she tries to impress Sungnyang by telling her all she knows about the Emperor.
Yonhwa, the bully
As she does not appear in the Wedding in Episode 1, I hope that she was banished from the palace. How is she going to react when they find out that Sungnyang was forgiven and that Sungnyang will be staying with them still, despite her efforts to get rid of her?
She reminds me even more of Queen Catherine from Reign. She really wants to undermine the lower family’s influence and she wants to find someone else for her son to marry (
just like Catherine’s stunt by finding that girl whose name I completely forgot because she disappeared in the series so abruptly, just to dethrone Mary from Catherine’s son’s heart). Of course there’s no denying that there’s a difference, but they do seem similar.
I wonder what a full inquiry means? It seems like it means the Empress Tanasiri will have to show up and be presented to all the staff? Or does it mean that the Empress has to show up to see the Empress Dowager?
El Temur and his pups
El Temur wants more, always more riches, like so many villains. He wants Goryeo, he wants the Silk Road, what now? He’ll want to invade the America too!?! Well, in that time, I’m pretty sure they didn’t know another continent existed…
Tangqishi shows that he’s not as dumb as we (I) thought he was, he questions his sister’s ability to attract a man as ‘callous’ as Toghon into her bed, and he stays by her side a lot!
Also, I found it creepy that he crept up on Sungnyang to remind her that she still has options (him). BUT his creepiness has toned down a little, so I’m all right with that. Although, admittedly, he may be keeping his distance because of his duty to his sister AND also because he thinks that the Head Eunuch will make Sungnyang suffer enough that she’ll want to stay with Tangqishi. In this way, he probably considers that he’s ‘taming’ her indirectly. [You gotta give it to him though, he’s persistent and confident (sort of like his sister), it must run in the family…]
Tanasiri showed a little bit of embarrassment when her dad tells her to make sure that she’s pregnant with Toghon‘s child, to make sure that she’s going to STAY as the Empress. We all know how that plays out though (she’s probably gonna die or elope with someone else and she’s also NOT going to be at the wedding).
She does NOT have a good memory, I find, as her brother told her to only let Toghon drink 3 cups of Mimosa, nothing more. But she doesn’t listen…
Her pride got to her, OR she’s just not good at memorizing things, like Toghon. She’s extremely confident that she has seduced him… but I would have wanted to see her reaction with the fact that the flowers were stripped away from her suite…!
She, like Toghon, does not treat well her underlings (she’s worse than Toghon, actually); although it is to ascertain her dominance over the Empress Dowager‘s power. She and her husband are absolutely perfect for each other!
She has a viper’s tongue, too as seen when she speaks to the Empress Dowager about tradition and about how the Dowager should’ve shaved her head and gone to a monastery instead of still staying in the palace. She has wits that Toghon doesn’t.
General Bayan‘s Angels [pfff Charlie’s Angels reference]
So Bayan wants to go back to Toghon‘s side, so he wants to get to the Silk Road. That’s why he needs to make his men ‘man up’. He wants to “Make Men out of Them” (Mulan reference again, pfff hahaha).
I think it’s smart of Bayan and TalTal to break the Goryeo men’s pride by making them bow down and get up in front of the Yuan repeatedly just to get their meager food. While I think it is smart of him, I also believe it is very harsh of him, although his reasons are somewhat sound, if not cruel; the Goryeo men won’t fight to defend the Yuan because they consider themselves external to the conflict, thus making them as worthless as “arrow fodders”.
Yom-Plague is making SO many enemies by existing that I don’t know who I want to elect as his murderer… Our Royal Babysitter, or Pak-brother-in-arms, or Wang Yu? Yom is proving, despite all of this, that he only has capacities to survive by himself. He abandoned Wang Ko‘s second in command to warn Bayan, but it was seriously cowardly of him to do such a thing when he could’ve stayed and fight for his men, since, as he says, HE is their COMMANDER.
He also proves that he is completely cocky, because, to me, he HAS seen how Wang Yu was able to stand head-to-head and fight General Bayan, which means that he has at least as much experience with a sword than the General. Yet, he accepted WITHOUT hesitation the challenge of beating the King? Perhaps he let his rage against Goryeo, transferred onto their ex-King, blind him, but, I see no way in which he could win against King Wang Yu, unless he cheats [and indeed, it seems like he WILL!]. I mean, it would be in his capacities, right? He’s cheated by saying that he found Toghon, when it was Sungnyang who found him.
Meanwhile, in Goryeo…
Talahai mentions on the fly that Wang Yu’s father was put back on the throne, which is a good thing for Goryeo I guess, unless he changes Wang Yu’s decrees. This is bad for me because I believe Wang Yu’s father is a good father who worries a lot about his son, so why isn’t he doing anything to help Wang Yu out?
I may be over-analyzing this, but I don’t like the necklace that Tanasiri wears. Even though she’s a total brat and I dislike her so much, I do not like the fact that she’s wearing a dog collar… to a certain extent, would that mean that all necklaces are dog collars and that it proves our inferiority to men? *realizes and dies*.
I like how the Head Eunuch just gives it straight to her; that ANYTHING wrong can get not only HER killed but also all of her family. I like that he mentions this, because otherwise, well I wouldn’t have known. In general, I like the character, he’s got a head on his shoulders and he’s shown it ALL the time; he even knows there’s a war between the two Empresses, and he wants to spare the servants these kinds of things by mediating between them, which is smart. [now that Tanasiri has mentioned that he looks like a Toad, I cannot see otherwise!].
I love seeing Wang Yu fight. [and I like watching Sungnyang fight also. I must be a very violent person.]
Wang Yu will NOT kill Yom-Plague, because Yom-Plague has SUCH a ‘good’ survival instinct, as he’s shown in the past, that it’s pretty easy to know that the scum will abandon the match or forfeit rather than die at Wang Yu’s hands. Or he’ll cheat, with the lead sword, but Wang Yu will still prevail somehow, I’m certain of it? Wang Yu, General Ho, Jombak, Pak-Brother and Babysitter will team up together and kill Yom-Plague anyway. And they’ll kill Talahai while they’re at it too. [this review is making me violent]
Wang Yu might become friends with the Turks. And also, his men will have renewed confidence in their King for fighting Bayan for them.
The concubine girl will appear more often and she’ll become Sungnyang’s second girl-friend!
Toghon will NOT recognize Sungnyang. That’s how dumb I believe he is, and also, for his reality, it is completely stupid for him to think that Sungnyang would be in the form of a woman, and how could the love of his life suddenly be a female servant? For him, that’s completely unrealistic to conceive. I predict that he will probably think that she’s Sungnyang‘s sister or something like that. Because of this, he better treat her well, because she is Sungnyang’s sister, Nyang. (LOL), or something like that.
Anyways, see you next time! I’ll leave you with this last caption: