River -- Episode 9: Point of No Return
As they say, love is a double-edged sword. It can elevate you to the heights of bliss or plunge you into the depths of despair. Go Geon (Lee Ji Hoon), rejected by Princess Pyeonggang after he confesses his feelings to her, is probably one of the saddest moments for me in this drama.
It pained me the despair and desperation the rejected manifested in him. I do not want his love to turn selfishly obsessive, angry, or even hateful. I wish he'd realize that just because the princess rejected him doesn't mean he isn't good enough; it just means she's not able to see him or how much he has to offer, at least not the way he wants her to see him. I loved that Pyeonggang, despite everything, doesn't shy away from offering comfort when needed. Her wrapping her arms around Go Geon as the tears rolling down her cheek expressed how much she cares for him and how much she hated breaking his heart.
The Princess is not just intelligent but just; her refusal to comprise in the face of what she believes to be right, be it at a personal or country-wide level, is what makes her a warrior. And it is for that very reason that Go Won Pyo wanted to tame her through a royal wedding. He knows and fully understood Pyeonggang's cleverness. She is his biggest threat. And what better way to clip her wings, so to speak, but make an enemy out of the one person who would do anything for her -- his son, Go Geon by manipulating him and getting him heartbreakingly entangled with the Princess whom he knows doesn't have the same feelings he does. The sneakiness of Go Won Pyo, if not sickening, would be impressive. But the one thing he didn't factor in was that Pyeonggang might have feelings for another and not just anyone but General On Hyub's (Kang Ha Neul) son, nonetheless, his arch-enemy.
I never thought I would see a time where I would be as impressed as I was with the King this episode. Taking full advantage of the Princess's fake marriage and to none other than a traitor's son to banish her from the palace and save her from the royal wedding was brilliance in the making. Still, I was even more impressed by how calmly he stood up to Go Won Pyo. He slowly but surely regaining his footing as the King and trusting his own judgment. I would love to believe the Princess and Mo Yong could be allies, but I cannot bring myself to trust Mo Yong, but if nothing else, I think she'd help the Princess as long as she doesn't preserve her as a threat with Go Geon. It almost feels like the story is reached a turning point; I cannot wait to see how things unfold from here onwards. Watch Episode 9 here.