The Song of Glory – Ep 3 – CDrama Recap

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I’ve got to say, I’m losing interest fast, here. We start off with almost ten bloody minutes of Li Ge the Heroine having her Mom Lady hovering over her, Not-Sister Girl being slightly jealous but hanging on to her smile gamely, and Heroine feeling weird and guilty about it all. So…I skipped ahead.

OK, so: Pointy Chin Guy (LiGe’s possibly-not? older brother) has been given the order to go somewhere and do something. SIR YES SIR! Something’s gonna happen, and that’s exciting enough for me!

Back at the house, Miss Not Sister is trying not to let it get to her. She’s been made to fetch snacks for her not-Big Sister, but LiGe is somehow gone. How mysterious.

Somewhere else, Assassin Big and Little Bros are running a pharmacy/medicine shop thingy and also passing messages to people? I wish the subbers would translate the written messages, too, y’know, ’cause that note looked important. She’s gone to check out the situation, but isn’t happy to hear that they should be leaving soon–without accomplishing a) the mission, or b) vengeance.

Meh, you guys are pretty useless, you should just go and do something somewhere else.

Assassin Big Brother isn’t interested in helping with b), since they have more important things to do (assassinate Prince Peng Chang.) LiGe demands information on Lu Yuan, and stomps out when he doesn’t. Turns out, he was supposed to be helping her infiltrate the family (you know, that family), but for some reason he doesn’t tell her that this is the official plan.

Assassin Little Brother makes sure that his Assassin Big Sis doesn’t leave without her medicines (and the wrapping paper…with a nice note on it).

Back at the house, Miss Not Sister actually sees LiGe come sneaking back into the house (for a given value of “sneak,” AKA SHE FLIES IN OVER THE BLOODY ROOF IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.) Anyhow, they also get to watch Pointy Chin Guy showing up with a treat for his possibly-lil-Sis. He also offers to spar with her sometime. I don’t really get why the family all fired hung up on this girl, and for her part, LiGe is incredibly low-key and nonresponsive towards them. It’s just…weird. I mean…I mean, establishing a relationship with her, fine. Moving her into your house, making your other daughter move out of her rooms, and being alllllllll over her as much as they are? Creepy and overbearing. Seriously.

Anyhow, that night at the place where Some People Are About To Do Something….there’s a guy on a barge peeking out through a window, an imperial prince standing off to the side, and then Pointy Chin Guy and his men march by and arrest someone. Huh?

OK, so this prince is one of the ones who thinks that Something Must Be Done! About Lord Lu! While his older brother, Prince Peng Chang, just keeps coughing and reassuring him, lol. Prince Do Something is disappointed.

OK, so, at the docks, Lord Lu’s Green Sidekick has shown up and is waiting for their buyer.

So.

On the barge. LiGe bumps into the guy who was peering out the window and ends up putting a knife to his throat. He seems to be investigating Lord Lu, too. Meanwhile, some boats are poling their way up river (it’s a traaaaaaaaap….)

Boat Guy is somewhat snarky. Is…is that Peng Chang with a fake moustache?

Meanwhile, Lord Lu is somewhere else by himself, being smug. But he stops being quite so smug when he hears that their contact got arrested and Green Sidekick is being detained at the docks by the Minister of Justice, or at least by some guy who stole his hat.

Lord Lu strolls up before Green Sidekick attacks Hat Guy. LiGe ducks down (basically into Boat Guy’s lap and definitely on Boat Guy’s foot. And yes, it is Peng Chang.) Lord Lu threatens Justice Hat Guy and stroooooolls off.

LiGe triggers her trap! She dumps all the cargo into the water! And then launches herself at Lord Lu! FIGHT SCENE! YAYYYYYY
noo just fight shut up and fight.
GREEN SIDEKICK THROWS HIS BOSS A SWORD WOOOO Loyal sidekicks are the best!

Lord Lu is just about as good as she is, though, so they just end up kicking each other into walls, and then his men start shooting. But then she kicks him through an awning and Sidekick pins her arm to the wall with an arrow and then the rest of them start shooting in earnest so she has to make an escape, stage left, pursued.

Boat Guy is watching from his hold. And, yes, it was Prince Peng Chang. DUH, GAH.

Meanwhile, the other prince guy is heading home in a coach and LiGe collapses on the road, black hat with assassin veil and all. For some reason, his guards let him trot over and go “Miss?” at her. AAAAAND FOR SOME REASON HE PICKS HER UP AND TAKES HER INTO HIS COACH?

So, when a very pissed-off Lord Lu and his men arrive two seconds later, there is no trace of the assassiness. The Prince Guy is also suddenly extreeeeeemely drunk, but Lord Lu doesn’t really buy it. Prince Guy also lets Lord Lu search the carriage….it’s empty…and Lord Lu continues having the same smug/annoyed face the entire time, so I’m not sure what the point of all this was.

Turns out they stashed her in a random box off to the side of the road, heh.

But LiGe wakes up in the coach and LOL THE PRINCE JUST ASKS HER IF SHE’S THERE TO ASSASSINATE LU YUAN. PWAH. She promises to repay and skins out, almost collapsing but making it anyway.

Prince Guy is inspired by her example! (nice.)

Back at Assassin Medicine Hall, Little Assassin Bro is kneeling in punishment and Big Bro doesn’t really have much to say anyway. He says that instead of focusing on the low-level hoodlums, she should be looking at the big fish ((WHOM SHE CAN’T POSSIBLY KILL ALL ON HER OWN.)) Totally inaccurate, BTW. This scene was kind of weak.

OH GOSH. OK, I’m officially in love with the villain. He’s just so much more interesting than the others! I DON’T KNOW WHY?! He’s barely even a villain! He hasn’t done anything! He’s an underdog! If you gave this plot a slight tweak he could easily end up as the romantic lead! Really! (He’s also getting his wounds tended.) I think it’s just because his actor is just that much better/more charismatic than the heroes?

Anyhow, Green Sidekick comes in to report his total and utter failure, because sidekick. Lord Lu then inquires about their weapons dealer guy. Green Sidekick thinks they’re going to be OK, but Lord Lu recognizes that they are in a bad spot, because a) their weapons dealer is in jail, b), who exactly gave the justice minister the guts to go up against the Lu Family?

Cut to: Weapons Dealer Guy getting interrogated by the Prince Peng Chang.

AAAAaaaaaand he spills it immediately. Pwah. And also that was weirdly easy.

So LiGe is running over the rooftops and stumbles across Peng Chang leaving wherever it was that he was leaving (it’s the family house, OK, OHHHHH, he’s using their house as a secure base?) And she gets inside, only to be immediately attacked by Little Family Bro. Little Not-Sis also shows up immediately. Everyone wants to know where she’s been….

…because Mom Lady got worried she’d run off, and fainted. Wow, manipulative much?

Pointy Chin Big Brother shows up, and is, of course, not happy to hear that his new sister’s disappearance triggered this state of affairs. Also, LiGe has a scratch on her hand. Also, Little Bro testifies about her martial arts skills. Pointy Chin Big Brother has Questions.

Fortunately, Mom Lady wakes up (but isn’t happy that Not Little Sis is the one at her bedside.) She shoves her away and runs over to LiGe. What the hell, people? No, seriously, what the f*ck? No one is acting like a normal person in any of this situation?! This family is kind of seriously creeping me out.

Mom Lady gives a tearful speech to Pointy Chin Big Brother about not trusting his sister (oh if only you knew), because she’s his sister damnit (oh if oooooonly you knew) and they should stand with her! (Gah.) And reasssures LiGe that Mom will be on her side.
Not Little Sister watches with dissatisfaction.

Not A (reposted) Review: Tad Williams – Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn

Yeah, I didn’t care enough to dig up a picture of book 1’s cover. So sue me.

Not a review, because I didn’t like the book enough to finish it. It impressed me as a, okay, credit where credit is due, fairly spirited attempt to try some Tolkienesque worldbuilding and blend it with a Star Wars-style Farmboy to Hero arc. All fine, good stuff; even Farmboy (Castleboy?) was a decent character. However, the nebulous Ultimate Evil was more compelling, interesting, and sympathetic than the bumbling young heroes and their insufferable allies and I lost interest.

 

Insufferable, you ask?

1) The elves. The elves were utterly shameless Tolkien ripoffs: snooty, holier-than-thou environmentalists who are continually attempting to shame and lecture the hero. Par for the course, for most elves. What made it actually insufferable was actually their clinging to and ranting about the past noble glories of their doomed racial history, without–and this is important–actually having a noble and glorious history. 

Tolkien’s elves strove against the darkness. They mostly failed, and this failure haunts, grieves, and dooms them; but they did try. They really were noble, relentless, striving, courageous even in the face of certain failure. Furthermore–Worldbuilding 580–they weren’t a monolithic culture. For example: think of Celegorm, Maeglin, and Thingol–brave warriors, cunning counselors, noble monarchs…and total jackasses…of very different personal and political factions.

In short, while what everyone remembers of Middle Earth elves is their contemplative, sorrowful, hands-off/hands-wringing attitude and staring soulfully at the stars, there’s legitimately a lot going on with them and they’ve earned that attitude. They are sad and despairing because they’ve been through hell. They feel that the Earth is changing–because they’ve been there for millennia, struggling against the decay, and they’ve failed to prevent it, change it, and barely even to mitigate it. And they look to the stars because (UNLIKE HUMANS, ‘CUZ THE STARS ARE OURS BOOYA) the stars are a reminder to them of the paradise they’ve lost and the gods who will receive them when they go home again.

The Sithi-elves saw the darkness coming and didn’t lift a damn finger to stop it, literally. No, really, literally. And then have the gall to complain about it afterwards?

2) The villains. A deluded and semi-evil King who is destroying his realm? Fine; no problem. A loathsome magician/priest guy who literally stomps on puppies while making eye contact with and smiling sinisterly at the hero? (no, really, literally)…is over the top, but I will at least applaud his downfall when it happens. The ultimate villain as a disembodied force of malice and dread who controls the action from a distance and also sends his minions versus the heroes on a quest for powerful artifacts? Who is this “Tolkien” fellow you’re talking about again?

…except said ultimate villain (see point 1), was the only, ONLY, person to try to protect his people against the human invasion that threatened to wipe them out entirely. By consorting with dark powers and turning himself into a god of death, but still. That’s badass.

It might be my own biases speaking, but–actually, on second thought, it’s not. The term is “Natural Selection.” Humans won. You lost. Fight, submit, or die. Don’t whine about it afterwards.

I will also admit that there might have been mitigating circumstances to the Sithi’s suckitude that I didn’t read about in book 1; but then, I didn’t read about them. Further analysis will be curtailed because I’m out of time again.

Tl;dr – I preferred Ineluki, because everyone else sucked.

Rated: Yeah, I liked Ineluki so much I wrote a poem.