The depth and expressiveness Lee Ji Hoon brings to Go Geon is enthralling to watch. He is by far the most dynamic character in River. The ease with which Ji Hoon portrays Go Geon's multi-layered personality of a man caught between his loyalty to his family and the love of a woman who is none other than the returned from the dead Princess who his father wants dead is electric in every sense of the word.
Couple Lee Ji Hoon's performance with that of the mysterious yet intriguing Hae Mo Yong (Choi Yoo-Hwa), a trader of herbal medicines ( some quite dangerous) and secrets, and we have a brilliant show in the making. Their temporary alliance, his for the sake of the princess and hers to further her and her father's agenda within the royal court, is both fulfilling and dangerous to watch at the same time. It's a disaster in the waiting but not any less compelling to watch.
I love the Ghost Village and its many characters, but my favorite is little Wol Yi (Oh Ah Rin). She's funny, witty, kind, and wise beyond her years. Despite having to live as shadows of themselves, I love that the village people haven't lost their essence, nor did they let their horrid past poison them to living a good and decent existence as a reflection of their late chieftain General On Hyub On Dal's father (Kang Haneul), a revered and principled leader who commanded his people's loyalty and support. So it was only natural for the village to accept Ga Jin and have her live amongst them as a ghost. They are, after all, a village trying to live under the radar as ghostly as possible.
I truly believe Ga Jin meant it when she told On Dal she wanted to start a new chapter in her life and live a decent existence, but as On Dal's mother told her, nothing in life goes as planned and especially not for a Princess with a price on her head. I understood and even appreciated Ga Jin taking up the sword she swore she would never wield again to save the people she considered family, and having to go into the palace she swore, she would never return to seemed like twisted fate in the waiting.
Ga Jin sacrificing her freedom as Ga Jin and announcing herself as Princess Pyeonggang to save On Dal's life was probably the highlight of today's episode aside from Go Geon's scenes. Her grand entrance and reveal to the royal court with the shocked onlookers in the Queen, Royal Consorts, Go Won Pyo, and more was satisfying to watch. The true drama has just begun.