Jang Ok Jung: You’re scaring me…

yaybabyjoj photo yaybabyjoj_zpseb15ce5b.jpgThe past two episodes have included some major, everything or nothing, Hail Mary’s. The kind of decisive action that changes everything… [Leaping into spoilers; through episode 16] …like the king descending into the laundry pond to proclaim his love for Ok-jung. But I think… I’m pretty sure… the Queen Mother won this round. Which has me terrified for Jang Ok-jung’s sake. She may have lost more badly than she’s realized.

Ok-jung’s strength had been her being far enough above the politicking and secrecy of the inner-palace that she could sincerely react with righteous horror when she was attacked. It allowed her to remain honest with Lee Soon and meant he trusted her, loved her, and did his best to protect her. But she’s been pulled into the fray and she’s lost (or is loosing) the king’s trust.

I can see why Ok-jung acted. Even with the king’s support, the miscarriage happened, and even the king’s rage couldn’t prevent the Queen Mother from further threatening Ok-jung’s children. I can see why she got that desperate and why she made the all-in move she made. But it involved fooling the king. And it ended with the Queen Mother maneuvering herself into becoming the ultimate victim.

Lee Soon’s trust is a very fragile thing. And, despite the many ways the Queen Mother has weakened and handicapped him, Lee Soon does love his mom. (She wouldn’t have been such a burden to him if he didn’t love her.) Ok-jung made a wild throw at the basket — and it was definitely a gutsy move — but I do believe she missed.

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Context: This is not a “yay, I’m a daddy!” face…

Which has me scared for the story now, too. I came in to the drama expecting tragedy. Even the most casual look at the history flashes a big neon warning sign: tragedy ahead. But I wasn’t sure what flavor of tragedy we were going to get. I’m starting to worry we’re going to have a story that’s less Romeo and Juliet (yes, death — but not death of love) and more Othello. Which… isn’t necessarily a bad thing (I mean, Othello isn’t exactly a failure of a play) but I do fear the bitterness to come.

If Lee Soon does turn away from Ok-jung (and the last episode definitely shows him wavering — so much so I’m not sure how she could ever win him back) I think the ending will have him ordering her execution with righteous anger. I hope it’ll be followed with the sort of remorse Othello felt (and I hope Ok-jung will be worthy of that sort of remorse), but I’m worried that the righteousness will be the end game. Which will be a very bitter ending indeed.

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Please don’t let this be the face of victory…

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5 thoughts on “Jang Ok Jung: You’re scaring me…

  1. Othello, a story of lies, is a good reference for this show. I fear the same type of loveless conclusion- mostly because I know how mad I will be. It may make sense in the grand scheme of things but based on what I have seen so far I will not take kindly if this story emotionally detaches itself from Ok Jung’s original good intentions (which, as you mentioned, may have gone a teensy bit off course). That type of ending would leave me with one option- drink heavily until I convince myself the show actually ended at episode 14. 🙂

    • If Ok-jung dies still in love with and acting for the king — but he’s too suspicious and distrustful to realize it until after she’s dead and then he’s racked with guilt and grief etc. (all Othello-like)… I will cry buckets but still be happy with the story. Because Ok-jung is still our girl.

      But if she goes bad and when she dies we’re supposed to see it as just desserts or something… I will be most displeased. (I don’t think that’s where the story is heading? But… I worry.)

      I hope next week’s eps give us something to cling to.

  2. Pingback: Jang Ok Jung: Oh, I’m so relieved! | Creating Volumes

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