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River -- Episode 10: New Beginnings

Can true love turn selfish, I wonder. I hope not; I hate seeing General Go manipulated by his father; I pray he doesn't lose himself in his sorrow and that his new appointment as Crown Prince Won's (Park Sang Hoon) trainer and the Head of Royal Bodyguards helps him recognize there's more to him. I keep saying this, but I cannot get over how captivating Le Ji Hoon is as General Go. He's a baffling mixture of despair, bravery, and slight evilness if left unhinged, could do unbelievable damage. How enigmatic it would've been if it were the Princess Pyeonggang and General Go Geon story, but there's no changing history.

To that end, I thought it quite smart of the show to correlate the Princess's training of On Dal into a general with General Go's training of the Crown Prince into a warrior. Well done. I hope what started as manipulation turns sincere, for as they say, sometimes good things or what one perceives to be good has to fall apart so better things can fall together.

As much as I like Kim So Hyun in her role as Princess Pyeonggang and the fierce warrior Yeom Ga Jin, as much as I'm overly impressed by Choi Yoo Hwa as Hae Mo Yong. I thoroughly enjoy her mysteriously layered personality and how easily she flows and adjusts to the different circumstances around her. One can never really know what she's thinking, which makes her even more dangerous than Go Won Pyo. Shaman Doo Joong Seo (Han Jae Young) had her pegged to the tee, but then so did she, peg him. As they say, there are no secrets time will not reveal. I wonder if General Go now knows her truth as well.

It's been an adjustment getting used to Na In Woo as the new On Dal, but credit must be given where credit is due. He portrays the fool to a tee, speaks to his great talent as an actor. On Dal and the Princess's new life as newlyweds in the Ghost Village may be a pretense, but it sure does feel natural. It will be interesting to see how their relationship affects the two of them, the Ghost Village, the royal court, and the whole country. That the Princess had bigger plans than a pretense marriage when she caused herself to be thrown out of the palace is quite clear.

A plan to change Goguryeo and make it into a country where everyone has a voice, not just the rich and powerful, now that is something to behold. But to defeat a powerful enemy, one must build a mighty army. I fully understand why General On Hyub (Kang Ha Neul) father wanted his son to live a simple fool's life, one free of the battlefield, but life is not as simple because what's good and right doesn't come naturally. One has to stand up and fight for it as if the cause depended on them because, most often than not, it does. I enjoy this drama more and more with each passing episode. I cannot wait to see what the Princess has in store of Go Won Pyo and his goons. Watch Episode 10 here.



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