This is another drama which I wait for eagerly each week, which is not difficult to understand because the cinematography is gorgeous, the storytelling keeps us on our toes and each week we get more questions thrown to us than having OUR questions answered. It’s been a long while since we get a decent supernatural sageuk, and the quality of Show reminds me of Arang and the Magistrate, which is definitely a good sign for me.
Admittedly, I was facepalming when Yeon-hee/Seo-ri breeched the talisman barrier for the second time and I thought that was really a convenient way for Seo-ri to save Heo Jun from falling to his death from the cliff, as well as re-introducing them into each other’s lives. I do find it a tad annoying that no one told Seo-ri that the barrier is there to keep her from being found by evil shamaness Hong Joo, although I like the twist of Hyun-seo being the one to deliberately destroy the talismans after he was revived.
Coming to Hyun Seo, I wonder why he only awakes 5 years later, which is the current timeline, or rather why did Hong Joo keep him in coma for 5 years. I know that they have some complicated relationship before the beginning of Show (any subs for the prelude manhwa?), and I really hope we’ll get some explanation of their history and why Hong Joo is adamant in claiming the throne, as Hyun Seo explained to Queen Dowager Shim. I’m a little perplexed at the inferiority of Hyun Seo’s powers compared to Hong Joo; are we trying to draw a reference here to Harry Potter, where love will conquer all (dark powers)?
It now makes sense that Hyun Seo didn’t tell Poong-yeon why he shouldn’t have feelings for Yeon-hee (before she became Seo-ri), because he couldn’t deal with the possibility of losing his son to save the princess Yeon-hee, how could he expect his son to accept it? It is tragic enough that Poong-yeon is affected by the curse just because of his true love for her, but to die for her in order to lift the curse? He couldn’t even accept Yeon-hee when she was transformed, that recoiling in horror was no mistake, although the second time round it was not so much of outright fear but rather unexpectedness.
I thought it was rather easy to get behind Queen Dowager Shim’s motive, which is simple, really. She just wants her son back, and the country that her son is supposed to inherit, intact. Thus she gave in to Hong Joo’s threats (man, she’s real good at blackmailing) when the threat of her son’s soul be destroyed becomes imminent, and yet also joins forces with Hyun Seo to stop Hong Joo. It’s a mother’s desperates choices that the Queen Dowager makes, unfortunate decisions they may be.
I love the idea of Heo Jun being the human talisman for Seo-ri, as it’s the best method to keep them together, although I don’t see any romantic sparks yet. Are we even supposed to have that happening? At only the half-way mark I guess anything is possible, and right now the rapport they have is cute. I also like that they grew up being told that they shouldn’t have been born, so that’s some shared experience they have. While Seo-ri’s spent most of her life holed up in one place, Heo Jun’s way more street smart and optimistic and he’s definitely going to bring a positive change to Seo-ri.
Like I said, at the half-way mark the story is only half-told, and I really love that the writer is doing a good job keeping us in suspense, introducing twists at the least expected. I totally didn’t expect the true identity of Red Cloak to be Sol-gae (Poong-yeon’s nifty assistant), and that’s definitely going to be some game changer, now that we’re shown hints of her growing affection for Poong-yeon although her envy for Poong-yeon’s love for Seo-ri may push her deeper to the dark side. We the viewers may be able to formulate guesses as to why Sol-gae is his assistant and why she’s also Red Cloak, but it’s always good to have Show giving us answers. I hope Show keeps up the quality and continues to surprise us!