At this rate, the OTP of Seung Nyang and Wang Yoo in Empress Ki are going down in K-drama history books as one of the most functional, understanding, resilient, and supportive couples ever to grace the screen. I feel like EK has shed the K-drama predilection for sappy romance and elevated to noble love that befits the station of the three leads. When Seung Nyang hears Wang Yoo wants to meet her privately, she chastises eunuch Bang for even daring to suggest such an affront to her station as a Yuan consort. Yet eunuch Bang knows that she’s doing it to purposely be cruel so that it’s easier for Wang Yoo to hate her, and when Wang Yoo hears of her coldness and his subordinates think Seung Nyang has changed by tasting power and wealth, he immediately knows that is not the case. So Wang Yoo goes to meet Seung Nyang and they both play their parts perfectly with mutual understanding. He tells her that he can’t hate her because to hate would mean to care and his Seung Nyang is gone and no longer in his heart. She is just a memory he will erase. He tells Seung Nyang to look forward, to not look back with any regrets, to walk down this road she has chosen. The moment he walks out the door is when both of them breaks down in silent shoulder racking tears. It’s such marvelous acting on the part of Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo and they’ve really tied the development of their love right back to the beginning of episode 1 and how Seung Nyang could become Empress Ki while crying over Wang Yoo. I’m so glad I stuck with EK despite the baby-crazy ten episodes back. Let it be said that a drama can go down the makjang hole and still manage to claw its way back to sanity.
The episodes keep getting better and better as the dumb love triangle romantic woe is dialed down. I chalk up EK’s increased awesome to Ta Hwan’s decreased douchebaggery, yet another confirmation that he was the reason the early parts stumbled on useless pining. Now he’s stepping up to the be an equal leg to a genuinely awesome love triangle, I root equally for both pairings to get some happy moments even if someone is always going to be sad. Seung Nyang is sad since she loves Wang Yoo but has chosen Ta Hwan for her revenge plans. Ta Hwan is sad since Seung Nyang is his consort but it’s not out of love, and Wang Yoo is sad since he is willing to let Seung Nyang chose this path in life.
Wang Yoo and Seung Nyang’s reunion in episode 30:
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