Depending on whether or not that extension comes through, we are either halfway, or more than halfway, through Moonlight. This set of episodes were filled with cute, cute, and more cute, Daddy Dearest going further round the bend, Princess finally shedding the fat suit (Yeah, can we talk about this timeline–PLEASE?), and the bad guys (good guys? Who knows) getting ever closer to finding out just who our eunuch is for real-zees. They had better not mess with our cute couple–that’s what we have the heroine for!
Stephanie: Apparently, I’m really Team Crown Prince because in this set of episodes, any time the girl tried to back/run away from him, I was shouting at my computer screen. She had better not break his effing heart or else I’m gonna be ticked. He is a fluffy, fluffy bunny who needs to be protected.
Leila: You really are! I was sort of surprised. I expected you to be harder-hearted! You are trapped in PBGs web of charm! But I guess it’s good because these episodes are largely moving our couple forward with a few little plot points thrown in to keep us from getting bored. Like that’s likely to happen…
Stephanie: Laugh. I am a total Park Bo Gum fangirl now, although we did wonder at the end of this episode, if they took all of the shots of him just smiling, how long would these episodes be? I’m going to go with they’d be cut in half. Not complaining, just saying. I will also say, yes, any time this show is not about our main couple, I kind of rolled my eyes, I have a little bit trouble caring. And the court shenanigans? Irritating. Get back to the cuteness!
Leila: Straight out of the gate we get the Prince’s romantic and heartfelt confession, and we have a split second of “Maybe she roll with it? Go with her heart. Throw caution to the wind?” But we as the audience are waaaaay smarter than the Prince, and we’re already shouting at the screen ”And how exactly are you expecting this to work?!” I’m now used to the Prince being really clever, and it was a little frustrating to me to watch him be blind to not only their situation but the fact that PEOPLE COULD BE WATCHING. For goodness sake, do you want her to be hung? Did they hang people back then?
Stephanie: Okay, yes, we as audience members totally understand where she is coming from.
Yes, in her reality, in the Joseon she has experienced, there is no way this is going to end well. And the fact that he thinks he can just make it okay because he says so, shows an irritating out-of-touchness (word?) that he usually doesn’t show. However, as fans of the Prince, I need her to want to at least try to fight for them. She’s just giving up before even trying and that does sell the idea of him short.
Leila: True… She does give up on the idea of him really quickly. I’m not sure if that’s poor character development or if they were trying to shorthand that she’s not used to having the life she wants because she’s denied herself being a girl all this time? She says something like “I haven’t ever lived as a woman.” But, to your point, and to his because he says it to her at one point, she never gives him the chance to see what his position and power can do for them. That was frustrating.
Stephanie: As drama watchers, we knew his plan wouldn’t really work, but I just needed her to want to try. Where goes her spunk? Isn’t that what she had going for herself? Now that she has all these people throwing themselves in front of her to keep her safe and she loses her personality? Of course though, in this pairing she’s always been the more realistic of the two. She’s the one who grounds him.
Leila: OK. Happy romantic moments before we move on to the various little plot points. The really dramatic hand signal scene on the balcony was my favorite. I actually got a little teary-eyed. Our proud Prince *begs* her stay with him and tells her he loves her. I’m not sure it entirely fits with the character, but I was personally impressed with him being willing to throw dignity and caution to the wind in a last-ditch attempt to keep her.
Stephanie: I loved every time he called her by her name-ah. Swoon! I had a hard time with the bridge scene because, dude, how obviously could you be? Yeah, they may not speak the sign language, but you just look at them and you know what’s going on. Wasn’t it just last episode that he was troubled by rumors? Or when he holds up the book to kiss her. Ummm….sure, yeah if someone saw that they would totally be stumped by that book.
Leila: OK. Let’s talk about the like, twenty seconds Jinyoung and the New Girl (now the Prince’s betrothed?) appeared on the scene. They’re sort of inter-tangled so they can be discussed together. Speaking of giving up easily! Wasn’t it just last episode where they were both plotting to fight for their loves? The New Girl is going for it, but Jinyoung is all Eeyore on us. “Ah well… I’ll just love her, and sacrifice, and mope from afar.”
Stephanie: Uhhh….wait. I thought the girl was willing to fight to be with the Prince even if it didn’t turn out well? Hold on, let me check. Okay, yeah, she’s internally wetting her pants with the idea of her father lining her up to be with the Prince. “Awww shucks dad, I guess it will be okay.” Sigh. Let’s talk about his father’s descent into cray-cray town. “I know, I’ll get my kid hitched!” because it suuuuuper worked out for him either time he did it. If he wasn’t going to let his kid do his thing, then why bother appoint him to Regent? It’s like the show needed a wrench to be thrown in there and figured this was the easiest way to do it. Dad’s crazy, he doesn’t need an explanation.
Leila: Yeah, really awkward plot machinations. Because the King makes this huge deal earlier about the fact that he’s such a terrible ruler and coward because all the people he loved and trusted around him have been killed. Yeah, let’s give the Prince a wife so she can be used as a weapon against him. Writers, we are actually paying attention. No matter how often PBG tries to kill all my brain cells with his smile, I’ll still holding on. And, why exactly does the Prince, one: Leave Ra On just sitting on those stairs with a sprained ankle while he goes and has a sword temper tantrum about his impending nuptials? And two, why doesn’t he say “Dad wants me to get married. This sucks, but let me see if I can find a way around it”? Like, Ra On isn’t going to hear about it. What would have happened if Jinyoung hadn’t gone to the Prince and said, “You’re being a dick.”
Stephanie: Dude, you’re such a dick! I think when it comes in the terms of person to person, interpersonal communications, he sucks. He just was never taught that, he has no inner circle. She’s humanizing him, and that was what he needed, but let’s see if he’ll be allowed to put all the parts of him together to be a good King. I wonder, now that he’s been exposed to real people, what he’s going to do about the little grocery girl they capture as a rebel. He can’t allow what the king wants to happen to her, to happen. Not and still be respected and be his own man. And to win the girl. Especially knowing who exactly Ra On is (or who her father was).
Leila: I like that each episode we get a little more of the Prince trying to be a better person and King. The part where he messes with the rigged exam process was fun. Those scholars weren’t even trying to hide the fact they were cheating! And, like you said, him realizing when he sees his father the King trying to make a scapegoat (or even believing) that an eight-year-old girl would be working with the rebels and a danger to the kingdom. That was when we knew the King was deeply crazypants.
Stephanie: Yeah, King is messed. I like how he compromise with the exam. By simply changing the question, it created an equal playing field for all those involved. Even the cheaters had a chance at that point. Here’s hoping that the teacher guy the Prince consults with has a good solution to our heroine pretending to be a dude problem. Of course the test brings back the stuttering guy, which brings back the newly transformed princess. The one who is like, thin in the blink of an eye. In what world could she come back having lost all that weight, and the Queen still be pregnant? Side eye.
Leila: Oh my gosh! The Queen and the baby plot! That’s so much more evil than I expected. I thought she was just regular annoying/spoiled evil, but this is another level, keeping a woman hostage to have a backup baby. And I’m still not sure how they expect their plans to unfold. I guess assassinate the Prince? She and her father are *terrible* people! The little princess who was traumatized into muteness by the Minister of Doom. I’m curious where that’s going to play into our story, or if she was just there to help move the confront-what-you-are-afraid of/communication storyline forward.
Stephanie: Yeah, when the girl did the Kdrama signal for preggers (dry heave) I knew they were going to steal her baby. What I didn’t know was that the Queen was actually pregnant. I thought it was going to be the standard baby steal. The backup boy baby threw me for a loop. I wonder if Daddy-dearest has any idea of this extra plot? I’d like to think that it’s someone from his own camp who trips him up. (Not Jinyoung.)
Leila: I am obviously still naive in the way of dramas, because that had not occurred to me. My concern through both the episodes was what was going on with the Bodyguard and the rebels and their search for Ra On/Rebel Leader’s Daughter. I kept thinking everyone was going to think Ra On was a purposeful rebel infiltrator into the Palace, and that was going to be what screwed up the relationship with Ra On and the Prince. But they settled the Bodyguard’s suspicions about her quickly. He’s surprisingly supportive and trusting of both Ra On and the Prince. And maybe that’s for the best, because the guy who we think is the rebel leader about chops his head off. That would make me question my trust in the rebel side, for sure. We get Bodyguard’s backstory, and how he ends up at the Palace too. Things just got reeeealy interesting with that storyline.
Stephanie: But he didn’t flinch at the thought of dying to help keep her safe. I still don’t know what they want to do with her, or what she’s going to do when she finds out just who she is. I didn’t know what it means that it’s the head eunuch that is the leader of the rebels, although it proves the king really is right to not trust anyone. I wonder, will the prince and king side think it will be a good idea to marry them off, a way to join the rebels and the king? That might be a way they can get out of this. I just hope that she doesn’t get all pouty and run away. That is such a kdrama thing to do. Although, I’ll say this show continues to surprise me, taking what I expected and turn it on it’s ear.
Leila: I still wonder sometimes if the Bodyguard isn’t just a little in love with her. His actions are confusing. The “Marry the Prince to the Rebel Leader’s Daughter” as a way to appease the people did cross my mind. It would be a neat happy solution to our earlier concerns about this relationship ever working out. That seems a little outside the box for that time period. The Prince is pretty progressive though. The Head Eunuch being Ra On’s father (or maybe grandfather) also occurred to me. And I’m still unclear what both sides have planned for her if they get her – the rebels as a rallying flag, and the Prince’s side as…? The show has been surprising – it zigs when I expect it to zag.
Stephanie: I don’t think the Bodyguard likes her, except as a person. I also don’t think the Head Eunuch is related to her, just someone who is interested in the rebellion and what she means to it. I’m figuring crazy daddy plans to murder her if she comes around, but why the Prince is looking for her? Well that, that’s the thing I’m interested in.
Leila: So the final scene, where she’s waiting outside the gate for the Prince, and we’re both having a coronary when somebody approaches her because we think that the bad guys are going to kidnap her and the Prince is going to think she’s run away/abandoned him… Instead, the Prince is right there to rescue her and learn important information. The Head Eunuch seems like a pretty kind, reasonable guy. Do you think he and the Prince will join forces? I’m so curious! This show has the best cliff-hangers.
Stephanie: I think the kindness is a front. This part of the plot reminds me of that Hyun Bin movie. However, again, that was something that turned me on my ear, expected her to be kidnapped, king just in time. Expected the princess to be murdered by granddaddy, nope, not today kid, not today. Can’t wait to see what next week has to give!