How tiresome it must be for all the parties involved, the mind games they all play; be it the King against Lee Yi Cheom or with Court Lady Kim Gae Shi and her with Kim Ja Jeom, or Lee Dae Yeop against Ba Wu, and his father and vice versa but most of all Lee Yi Cheom against the King, his sons and practically everyone else.
I think the one I fear for or maybe fear is Dae Yeop, who is willing to take whatever risk necessary to keep the Princess and his family the same all at the same time. But as they say, sometimes one has to play the role of a fool to fool the fool who thinks they are fooling you. But then, even a good player will someday become a toy to a better player. And it's a trap I hope Dae Yeop doesn't fall into anytime soon because now he has his aunt to contend with as well, not just his father and brother.
I will admit I am having a tough time understanding Dae Yeop. I expected him, or maybe I should say I thought he had let his jealousy of Ba Wu turn him bitter, but it doesn't seem to be the case, or at least not yet. Everything he does, even capturing Ba Wu and locking him away, was planned with the Princess in mind but also with Ba Wu's family in mind, and that truly alleviated Dae Yeop in my mind's eye even if I'm somewhat still skeptical of him.
I understand Ba Wu sacrificed himself for the Princess, and I guess the same can be said of Dae Yeop, and maybe he really is a man of character, and it's a great chance to the cliche k-dramas typically fall into in love triangles. Kudos to the writer for rising above that and not focusing on character failures — lack of integrity, marital unfaithfulness, greed, and dishonesty, but rather on Dae Yeop's good character.
I've suspected all along Lee Dae Yeop wasn't evil father-in law's son, but now I am sure he isn't and that his aunt is his mother, but who could the father be, or more so, what did the father-in-law do for his sister to be able to shut him up and keep Lee Dae Yeop safe; I am dying to find out. I was pleasantly surprised to see the King actually try to make amends with his daughter, ask for forgiveness, and beg her to trust him again.
I hope for the King's sake more than her that he is not swayed by court politics and really put his daughter first; having her life with Ba Wu, well now Kim Dae Seok in whatever capacity is definitely a good beginning. But even with that, everything seems so twisted. It's hard to know who is playing whom and for what except for the father-in-law. He's the only one that's been clear from the get-go. I do, however, like that Ba Wu, the Princess, and everybody else's lives are finally looking up; they may not have to struggle to survive anymore, but the struggle to stay alive now that neither of them is dead begins. Watch Episodes 11 & 12 here.