Gibberish-Blab: Moonlight Drawn by Clouds Episode 13-14

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Update: ⬆️ The image above was released on the Tuesday with the caption asking us to tune in and find out about Baek Won Hoi and Byung Yeon. The preview for episode 14 also shows a scene Chief Eunuch ordering Baek Won Hoi readying for action, but it was omitted in the actual airing. I don’t think Baek Won Hoi’s scene will be omitted next episode, but I hope the above scene find its way back into the story somewhere. I’m starting to speculate these are the clues that Byung Yeon has ousted his secret and Baek Won Hoi, that’s how Seja found Ra On end of episode 14. Whilst the baddies are plotting to catch Seja conspiring with Ra On—the traitor’s daughter—Baek Won Hoi deploys for a rescue/protection mission. I am smelling the framework of the novel in play, just the way is executed is changed…

Inasmuch as I love Moonlight Drawn by Clouds’s superb direction, creativity and cinematography, this week’s episodes come off weak as the plot drags on with no real and new development. Seja has not made any breakthrough impressing the viewers since episode 4 or 6 against the villains; Baek Won Hoi’s motif is STILL unknown; and he is still suspecting Byung Yeon. OMG, just freaking asks Byung Yeon already. Dap dap hae! The only thing that’s finally settled is the royal marriage, in which, a horror to my own version of happy ending.

Not everything is bad in this week’s episodes. To name a few: I love the bromance between Yoon Sung and Seja. They sort of made-up before they get all defensive due to Ra On, but the initial sentiment and atmosphere was a nice sight. I also enjoy the angst brought out by the OTP’s separation. That frozen in place scene was fan-ta-bulous. However, the angst didn’t last quite enough for my liking, especially for Seja’s part in episode 14, which is a bummer; it could have been a teensy bit longer before the tortured birds reunite (Edit: and do not misunderstand I want this angst to drag past more than one episode).

I get the feeling the script is brewing up something ‘big’, in hope to finish it with a loud bang for the finale, but this makes current episodes stale with no interesting or dramatic happenings i.e. The tension builds up, but it sort of fell flat when it led to nowhere in that episode, and can’t even be used as an ending cliffhanger. My mind is also puzzled as to how Seja is going to explain to Ra On next week. Is he gonna go: “Oh by the way, during the time you dumped me, I decided to punish you (and myself) by marrying Jo Ha Yeon. But now that you are back in my life, is it okay I still marry her because her clan will give me more power. Don’t worry, I did make it clear I will never give her my heart; it was all business.

Excuse the sarcasm. It’s just that the story felt somewhat disjointed, and I’m not sure how to convince myself with what’s shown so far, and I need to let this cooped up frustration out. Based on this week’s episodes alone, it leaves me dissatisfied not knowing how Seja comes to the decision of joining hands with Ha Yeon. He was strongly against it before, not just for Ra On, also because he did not want to create Andong Kim clan v2.0.

With a modern mindset I disagree with the marriage; however, I can understand why during that era and in Seja’s shoes, the deal was the best offer. I will share the whys in the book, so that we have a better understanding (at least from the original’s standpoint).

Novel version:

A little bit introduction about Jo Ha Yeon first. She accepts the sad fate that being born as a woman in this era means being married off, and stuck in a cage serving this man forever. After learning more about Seja from Ra On, she decided that if she had to become someone’s wife, she would rather be Seja’s, because she likes Seja’s dream of the new Joseon.

After Seja was made Regent, he forces obedience onto the Andong Kim clan and their supporters by employing tradition, court rituals and/or etiquettes. His tactic caught them all off-guard, and they could not find any cracks in the system to defy Seja. His plan would work perfectly if he hadn’t fall for Ra On. Unfortunately, it is tradition and part of court rituals that the ruler is to marry and produce an heir. Hence, if Seja breaks this tradition, he creates a crack in the system he worked very hard to uphold. To make matter worse, the Queen Dowager was personally forcing it on him. To refuse or delay further brings no benefit to his ruling, because he would be criticized for not setting an example; attacked for disobeying the elderly and being unfilial. It’s like freaking big crime back in those days. Therefore, it makes sense he took the offer when Ha Yeon so conveniently dangles it in front of him.

Drama version:

Seja isn’t ruling his court with tradition and court rituals, is he? Also, he is still seen struggling to control the ministers. We watch him decline the royal marriage and this issue drag on for several episodes, just when we thought that’s not going to happen, it suddenly gets fast-forwarded and the deal was made off-screen. However, what is the push for this decision politically (or emotionally)?—we don’t quite know for certain. Apart from gaining support from the Jo clan; I can’t think of other justifiable reason(s) like the ones in the novel, and drama version Ha Yeon’s offer is unconvincing and weak—because she expects Seja to one day love her back.

I sincerely wish more will be explained next week, because we don’t want a good quality drama such as this to deteriorate in any aspects, especially the storylines. The drama was so close to perfection, and now it already isn’t, but I don’t want it worsen when we have 4 episodes left. So here I pray: Prove me wrong so that I can hit myself in the head for jumping the gun and doubt the scriptwriters. Amen.

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5 thoughts on “Gibberish-Blab: Moonlight Drawn by Clouds Episode 13-14

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  1. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this week’s episodes, but for me the last two are the strongest in a series (filled with strong episodes) so far. They’re heartbreaking and heartrending. I feel as if the innocence has been taken away from our OTP and they’ve been forced to grow up. Yeong is at a standstill with his ministers due to lack of support, and I see why he’d need to marry. I was also surprised to see the Crown Princess selection (but not the wedding itself – it’s still to come) done quickly, but I agree with Javabeans, who said that it reflects Yeong’s detachment through the whole process. He was never going to be able to deny the King’s order for very long and everyone knew it. I love that Ha-yeon framed it as a business partnership rather than an actual marriage to get him to swallow the bitter pill. Ra-on supports the move, even though it breaks her heart. She has always been the practical one in this pairing.

    I’m glad to see him continually struggle against the Kims. But as of now, the decks are stacked against him and I appreciate how they showed him continuing the good fight in what seems to be an uphill battle.

    I get why Yeong would hesitate to confront Byeong-yeon. He suspects, but he can’t bear to have those suspicions confirmed. I think he’s waiting for BY to come clean/stronger evidence against the guy. He can’t bear to lose a friend.

    As for the angst, I think I’ve had my fill thank you very much. I think extending it another episode would have dragged it, and I love the PD/writer’s deft touch at making the separation feel so long for our OTP and still last only an episode. I love that a chance is quickly given to clear the air and clear up misunderstandings, even with the evil guys hot on their heels. It’s refreshing to see that in a drama. If they must suffer, they can do so together, with their love reaffirmed and their convictions strengthened.

    tl;dr: I respectfully disagree with your post. I’m sorry for the ramblings!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts; however, if you are going to tell me this post is too long and you did not bother to read through the lines, then it made the points you are trying to make—invalid.

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        1. Apologies for misunderstanding your choice of abbreviation.

          I appreciate you taking the time to leave your view points. I understand all your points, but I actually already know/thought of all this. I enjoy the drama’s approach in making Seja experiencing growth rather than where he is already developed in the novel, but timing and balance are important. My frustration stemmed from the main plot starting to get draggy in my POV. The show focus a lot on the OTP, which I don’t mind, but when a show sacrifices other important things and/or time of secondary characters development or backstory then we have an issue. To be honest, they should cut out the loveline for princess and Scholar Jung and put it in latter episodes, because their scenes are actually quite off-key at this stage of plot development.

          I am not a big fan of melo, but I wanted just a little bit more from Seja within that one episode, knowing that Park Bo Gum is good in emoting. Yoo Jung gave her best in the angst part, I was crying with her, but I didn’t get enough heartbreaking from Bo Gum. Maybe my heart is stronger than yours. Trust me, even though it may be painful, but the pain will be worthwhile due to a great emoting performance. 🙂

          If you prefer to keep separation within one episode for the OTP, why can’t we have misunderstanding for Byung Yeon to be resolved within 1-2 episodes too? Last week or two, I came up with the same reason you did, but now that this ‘misunderstanding’ got dragged on, I’m not sure why he’s hesitating anymore, because it’s quite unlike him. Maybe you can untie the knot in my head: Seja always shoots straight balls at Ra On with his feelings/thoughts. Never leaves her pondering or misunderstand, but why when it comes to his childhood friend, Byung Yeon, he is now suddenly hesitating? If he can bear to risk losing Ra On whenever he keeps confessing, why isn’t he taking the risk for Byung Yeon?

          Now that we have 4 episodes left, priorities need to be re-arranged. The romance needs to take a backseat; Seja needs to gear up and come up with a solution/fight so that they can have their happy ending, and that the whole show & its characters have their own good endings. I’m all for them reaffirming their relationship in E15 and fight together, but you might want to entertain the idea that Ra On may not be able to physically be there to fight side-by-side due to her identity (at least not in the novel because Seja sent her away for protection). I don’t want the drama to take the course of the novel, but at the moment, they kinda are so I’m confused and unsure. I would love to see Seja whip up an impressive plan to counter this without having to send her away though. Impress me, scriptwriter, because I’ve been waiting for quite some time.

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          1. Honestly, it’s the storytelling rather than the story itself that hooks me in and keeps me coming back. The PD himself said this is a straight up romance with no political message whatsoever, and I’m getting what I’m expecting at 10x the satisfaction. The romance will never take a backseat because that’s the kind of show this is, and I’m cool with that. The PD and writer(s?) have so far showed an understanding of the nature of their material that I haven’t seen from many a romance drama production team in a while. Everyone involved knows this is strictly a light romance (unlike, say, The Princess’s Man, which was also heavily political). They advertised it as such, and so far I think they’ve been handling this “charming but also sad” drama extremely well.

            Yeong hesitates with Byeong-yeon because he suspects that the guy’s committing treason. Ra-on’s secret (pretending to be a man) is harmless in comparison. His world practically crumbled when he learned Ra-on’s a traitor’s daughter and realized the implications thereof. Besides, Yeong is still unsure about Byeong-yeon, who lied about the wounds and the practice sessions but ultimately saved his life. He was unable to be honest with Ra-on immediately about finding out her true sex, and that was because he was second-guessing himself about the nature of their relationship. I think it’s similar for Byeong-yeon, in that he’s second-guessing himself. He won’t confront him until he has something more substantial.

            I guess they’re keeping the Byeong-yeon thing from spilling over a bit longer because he’s an important key to unlocking the whole thing, just like Yoon-sung (who knows so many secrets) and the little Princess (when will she be able to speak?). But then again, a lot happened that wasn’t shown yet (like how Yeong found Ra-on). Byeong-yeon and Yoon-sung have pretty difficult choices to make ahead of them, and I trust the PD and the writer to show those choices in a satisfying manner.

            But then again, there’s quite a bit of story that wasn’t shown between Yeong’s breakdown and his reunion with Ra-on. Maybe Byeong-yeon and Yoon-sung played a part.

            As for the angst/separation misery, Yeong and Ra-on were dealing with it in different ways. Ra-on was trying to be cheerful and smiling, while Yeong was burying himself in work. Yeong was a wreck the whole episode, and I felt his desolation throughout. It’s just that he, more than Ra-on, had to hold it in for long stretches. This made Ha-yeon’s intrusion of the garden all the more offensive to him though she meant well.That was his and Ra-on’s space. I think this is the episode where PBG was able to use his micro-expressions to the greatest effect because Yeong had to maintain a strong facade while still being obviously broken. The way he looked, talked, stood, and walked alone conveyed the devastation. His breakdown near the end of the episode felt like the culmination of all the pain and confusion he’d been feeling.

            (It also helps that he does look physically exhausted. I am worried about the health of the cast and crew, but it’s amazing how they still manage to give out such affecting performances. But eek! The liveshooting schedule is crazy!)

            When I meant “together” for Yeong and Ra-on, I meant that in their hearts. Of course another separation is inevitable, but this time it will only be physical. I am a fan of good angst, but I detest prolonged misunderstandings for the OTP. I’m glad that at least their feelings were sorted out, even if they might not be able to talk for long because of the Kims.

            My only nitpick about the episode was that Yeong didn’t ask Teacher Dasan about Ra-on’s whereabouts. Perhaps that happened offscreen, and perhaps Teacher Dasan gave the same answer as Yoon-sung: that he didn’t know, and even if he did he wouldn’t tell.

            P.S. I’ve avoided spoilers about the novel, but I did read the ending and I don’t want that. Give me King Yeong! I know it’s a complete departure from history, but the PD said drama!Yeong’s name in hanja is different from Hyomyeong and novel!Yeong and so he’s completely fictional. It gives me so much hope for a happy (and satisfactory) ending.

            P.P.S. I actually enjoy Master Jung and the Princess’s loveline. I find callbacks to early!Yeong/Ra-on both hilarious and subtly moving. But then again, different strokes for different folks.

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