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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "A Korean Odyssey" Episode 18


Ma-wang is having one of those good days again, and the silly old bull gets sentimental over Oh-gong's possible demise, which leads him to an experiment that ends with an important discovery. The time has come to solve the Geumganggo issue once and for all, but Seon-mi is closer to the truth of her mission and she chooses to bravely face it. Enter a round of who gets to be a better noble idiot.

The loss of the Geumganggo's strength has been teased before, but the shop owner's words in the last episode kind of sealed the deal regarding its actual powers. As expected, it is not about complete control, but about making sure that the ones who have to save the world can play along nicely until they start taking the situation seriously. When it comes to Oh-gong's (Lee Seung-gi) feelings of love, we can be sure that his shackles have been out of commission for a while.

Ma-wang already missing Oh-gongOh-gong realizing he is not a prisoner to the Geumganggo

And then we have Ma-wang (Cha Seung-won). Oh you erratic sweetie. It may be tempting to feel frustrated by his constant wish to hurt or kill different members of his social circle, but we have to remember that he is a being who has lived for thousands of years, and who therefore bonds differently in terms of ways and time. The problem with his character is that the creators have not cemented that identity enough, and that he lacks the wisdom and logic of his age in order for us to remember his nature.

A much younger and more understandably confused existence that is trapped in some very dichotomous creative choices is Ah Sa-nyeo (Lee Se-young). The series has kept her a caricature villain for so long, that her clear faltering when treated well feels too contradictory. I am not sure how a supposed priestess does not consider the habitual slaughtering of humans and the manipulation of everyone around her evil. I suppose denial is strong in any creature.

Seon-mi facing Dae-seong and Ah Sa-nyeoOh-gong and Seon-mi together

As for Seon-mi (Oh Yeon-seo) and Oh-gong, their romance could have really been great, and for the most part it has been enjoyable. I just wish we had gotten to the interesting and new conflicts, as well as the gradual bonding in a more timely and well-constructed manner. It feels as if "A Korean Odyssey" (also known as "Hwayugi") should have been shorter in duration, or simply not have put all of its eggs in one basket.

That being said, these last couple of episodes are exciting to watch, and we finally get some considerable participation from characters like Pal-gye (Lee Hong-gi) and the Sea Prince (Yoon Bora). I wish it had been more of a group effort towards a common plan, even if fragmented in approach and individual goals, but then again our villains are minding their own business, so someone has to cause problems on the good side.

"A Korean Odyssey" is directed by Kim Byeong-soo, Kim Jeong-hyeon-I, Kim Seul-ah and Park Hong-gyoon, written by Hong Jeong-eun and Hong Mi-ran and features Lee Seung-gi, Cha Seung-won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Hong-ki and Jang Gwang.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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