King's Affection -- Episodes 3 & 4: Convictions
King's Affection is not only compelling, but well done. It's only the third and fourth episodes, but it has far exceeded my expectation. I can't say enough about how beautiful Park Eun Bin is in this drama. Ji-un and her make for a beautiful couple for sure. I can only imagine how confusing it must have been for Yeon Seon to be treated as a woman after living as Lee Hwi for so long. Not only has she not felt like a woman, but she probably forgot she was one. I can totally understand how and why she would be attracted to grown up Ji Woon, not only for the connection they had as children, but also for being the first man to notice her as the woman she longs to be.
Not only does our crown princess have to live with the knowledge that her grandfather and even her father wanted her dead, but now even the extended family and new queen want her life and position. I can't help but feel rage that they live on their merry life while she's alone trapped with the memories. The scene of her father laughing with his new wife and son as she watched ripped my heart out. How ironic is that the same people who killed her are now the ones protecting her.
As much as I love Sageuks, as much as I hate the scheming aspects, but it's what makes them so irresistible. I can already foresee a possibility of an atypical love triangle here, and maybe even a quadrangle. I am totally intrigued. But even before that, can I simply say how beautiful Lord Jaeun's smile is; I am totally heads over heels over him and this drama. I get a sense he knows she's not a he, but I may be wrong. But more than all that, the now complex royal family dynamics intrigue me. Was Yeon Seon's father always as detached as he is now, or did it all start with his new wife and son, or could it be that his past is now coming to haunt him, either way the complexity spells trouble.
Whoever said there are two circumstances that lead to arrogance: one is when you're wrong and you can't face it; the other is when you're right and nobody else can face it wasn't lying, and it depicts Ji-un's father to the tee. His belief in his convictions, be they right or wrong. He's convinced himself that the only way to ensure his and his family's survival is to believe without doubt that to follow the way outlined for him without any chain of reasoning, or logic, is the one and only way regardless of the outcome. And that he fails to understand how it's that conviction that distances his son further away from him is the crux of the matter.
The fact that the father kidnaps his son, adding insult to injury, and holds his friends as leverage over him further shows how far gone he is in that conviction. As they say, it’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen. But what is even worse is that he believes the only way to control his son is to impression his friends while he does what he wants him to do.
When one's survival is at risk, they will do anything to protect it. So the Crown Princess trying to get rid of Ji-un to protect her identity made sense, especially since she didn't seem to control herself around him, but more because blood relates him to the man who attempted to brutally end her life and took her brother's in her stead. I loved Ji-un's test, but more that he rebutted everything her grandfather said, it's exactly what she needed to hear. She doesn't need to conform to be accepted or loved, because no amount of conviction will validate a villainous deed or make her a righteous sovereign, doing the right thing however hard it may be will. It's like they say conformity is doing what everybody else is doing regardless of what is right. Morality is doing what is right, regardless of what everybody else is doing.
I also loved that Ji-un opened up to Yeon Seon and let her know he is against her grandfather and his father's ways. I reckon that will go a long way to gaining her trust. I am not sure where things go from here for Yeon Seon, as Lee Hwi or even Ji-un and Lord Jaeun as they all navigate their new relationship, but more navigate a place as dangerous as the palace proves. With that said, Yeon Seon's new bodyguard Kim Ga On (Choi Byung-chan) is a fascinating addition, but I like, I hope he isn't the assassin going around eliminating people or the one that attacked Yeon Seon during the royal hunt, I guess time will tell. I hope everyone in one way or another can find not only confidants, but also camaraderie. The more I observe of The King's Affection, the more I like it. Watch episodes 3 & 4 here.