major spoilers ahead
It’s finally coming to an end. After watching 48 30-minute episode of this drama, I can finally see how this story works itself out. It had been a rollercoaster of emotions as this show had many moments of crying, comedy and action. It was a nice break for me as I previously binged on medical and police dramas.
Min Yoo Ra and the Emperor getting together and plotting the death of Oh Sunny made my blood boil. It also made me so mad how Yoo Ra deceived Grandmother to the point where the Grandmother gave Yoo Ra her protection. Good thing Grandmother managed to catch them cheating.
If there’s one thing that I would like to see at the end is the Emperor Lee Hyeok living the rest of his life alone, content on seeing the Empress Oh Sunny happy without him. I used to ship these two even though he just used her as an alibi when he and Min Yoo Ra killed Na Wang Shik’s mother. But then misfortune started coming into Sunny’s life and I cared for her more than the Emperor. Then the Emperor and Yoo Ra plotted and almost succeeded in killing the Empress! Thank goodness she survived and became more badass as the story progressed.
Lee Hyeok lost his first wife, Empress So Hyun, and their babies. He pushed her into the pond where she died and dared to blame everyone else but him about their death. He was so full of jealousy and insecurity that he can’t even see through the veil of deceivement that his mom had casted upon him. Although it was revealed that it was Seo Kang Hee who killed the Empress by drowning her, Lee Hyeok should still take part of the blame for her death. If only he listened to her, didn’t push her or atleast helped her out of the pond, she would have survived
Also, if killing her is not enough, it was also because of the Queen Dowager’s decision that ended Sunny’s mom’s life. The blood that was supposed to be for Sunny’s mom went to the Emperor because a commoner’s life is less than that of Lee Hyeok’s.
Oh Sunny’s character development was amazing. She started as this wide-eyed, innocent person who thought she struck jackpot when the Emperor married her. But she powered through her many near-death experiences and became an strong woman willing to bring down the Imperial Family but still holding on to her righteous beliefs. It was when the Grandmother died that she held onto her position tighter because how then can she find the killer if doesn’t have the power? In the latest episode, it was revealed that the Grandmother killed herself and revealed everything that happened to her in that night through a letter that Oh Sunny was able to read.
The tiny superstar of the story, Princess-turned-Empress Ah Ri is a scene stealer. She grew up being told that money can fix everything and that she is beyond everyone else just because she is of royalty blood. Although initially introduced as Princess So Jin’s daughter, she was in fact Seo Kang Hee and the Emperor’s daughter. She was officially adopted by the Empress and the Emperor and became Crowned Princess. Because of the adults’ hunger for power and wealth, she became a pawn in their war, most especially Seo Kang Hee’s. Seo Kang Hee won’t stop until Ah Ri becomes the highest power in the country. Oh Sunny sees the negative effects of these towards Ah Ri and had tried to console Ah Ri as much as she can. But Kang Hee is an evil bi– and tried to ruin Sunny’s name for Ah Ri so Ah Ri can only see her as the only ally. Sucks for her, Ah Ri is an intelligent kid and is loyal to Sunny.
Na Wang Shik’s (or Cheon Woo Bin)character was essentially the same since he entered the castle up until now. The one thing that kept him going was his mother’s death and to let people see the true Imperial Family. I initially shipped him with the Empress ever since they started being allies but then cut that short because what they have is a supportive relationship driven by the same goals. I actually thought he was gonna fall for Princess So Jin because he did put on some effort to stop the Princess’s feelings for him. But I think he just took advantage of her naivety for his own plans (i.e. giving the slush money to those victims of the Imperial Family). I like how in the latest episode, he became an important person and was under the protection of the council and was free to investigate the death of the former Empress So Hyun.
Seo Kang Hee is probably one of the characters that I hated the most at this point. She had been using our sweet baby Ah Ri for her own agenda. She was willing to hurt this kid in order to be part of the Royal Family. I used to hate Min Yoo Ra but my heart softened for her when she saw her love Kang Jooseung. I want to see what happened to her when she said, “I wish you died with me that night”, as she was looking at Na Dong Sik being evacuated away from the palace. I don’t think she should be spared though of what she did especially what she did to her adoptive mother, Na Wang Sik and to her son.
Although this story is going to end, they still introduced new characters, Michelle and Ms. Kim. Ms. Kim was the Queen Dowager’s former lady-in-waiting (?). She owned a lot at the Chungeom Island which now we know housed greenhouses full of poppies. Grandmother left this to her when she was labeled as a thief and was forced out of the palace. Grandmother knew she was innocent and this was a way for Ms. Kim to get an apology at the very end. Ms. Kim is also the only one who had probably seen the childish Queen Dowager in her early years as an Empress and one of the few people the Queen Dowager is legit scared of.
Michelle was the former Empress until her husband was deposed because of drug chargers. She hints that it was the Queen Dowager that planted the drugs all over the palace so the Emperor can get blamed for it. She almost got kidnapped if it wasn’t for Na Wang Shik who intercepted the car and rescued her. She was the one assigned to appoint the legal guardian for Empress Ah Ri and chose Oh Sunny. This was a heartbreaking scene as Ah Ri cried her heart out and refused her position as a royalty because of the turmoil it had caused the adults.
For the Finale
Next week, I’m really hoping for the Imperial Family, to in a way, get disbanded. Like they get stripped of their royal status and live as normal people. Prince Yoon deserves a simple life with Hello, together with the Hello and Sunny’s dad. Sunny deserves to get all the things that the grandmother had left for her although the clause state that she will have to stay/not divorce Lee Hyeok. Knowing Sunny, she might create a foundation to help the victims of the Imperial family as well as those in need. Since ni more Imperial Family, she’s not Empress anymore. However, she had a good enough presence and influence towards the general public that she still kept her relevance.
Although Choi Jin Hyuk may be highly MIA in the last episodes, I hope that his character Na Wang Shik can get treated to live a long life with Na Dong Shik. Let him live a peaceful life, please. Also Min Yoo Ra better behave herself although she might spend some time in the prison, together with some members of the Imperial Family. However, she have Kang Jooseung with her now so she might be a changed person when she goes out. Seo Kang Hee doesn’t deserve to be Ah Ri’s mom because she used her to elevate her status. Ah Ri deserve better, that’s the Empress. Seo Kang Hee can go rot in jail for killing her bestfriend and have Ah Ri stay with the Empress and have a good mother-daughter relationship.
Lee Hyeok may also go to jail, alongside his mother, for all the shitty things he have done. He can reflect on the things that he had done and watch Sunny from afar. Queen Dowager should be put into a cell with Alpha females and make her their bi—. Clean this, clean that. Make her life a living hell, just like what she did to all of her victims
It’s gonna be tough saying goodbye to the characters that I have come to love and hate. But all good things must come to an end and I’m quite excited to see how this will end.