The Song of Glory – Episode 4 Recap

SoGe4 So we start off in the throne room at a meeting, and they’ve just gotten to the “Any Other Business? No, good, because I need a drink, anyone else up?” part when someone actually does come up with some other business. To whit: the stuff with the military stuff last episode. So the army ordered three boats’ worth of arrowheads, but somehow five boats turned up.

Lord Lu eyeing the guy who said it, heh.

It’s a ruse. They’re pinning the blame on the guy in charge of the armory–the one who immediately spilled the beans on Lord Lu!–and trying to take the heat off LL so he’ll relax, or something. Right? Well, that’s Prince Peng Chang’s plan, it seems like but–Oh, no, HAH–Hat Guy says that Lord Lu is involved also!

Lord Lu steps up and proclaims his innocence and implies that Hat Guy probably tortured a confession out of him.

Pai Ruhai (framed guy) is dragged in. He appears to have been tortured.


The Young Prince steps in to say that they should interrogate PR later, and punish Lord Lu now.

Lord Lu very reasonably says: exactly how just is is it to convict and fire a man based on zero testimony or evidence?

Sooooooooooo instead of firing Lord Lu, PR’s family is going to be executed to three generations. JUSTICE HAS BEEN DONE. (It hasn’t. It really hasn’t.) Hat Guy and, I dunno, Other Hat Guy, look dissatisfied. Lord Lu looks smug.

Prince Peng Chang is facing off with him, but then some military guy comes in–

OK. So, Pointy Chin Guy’s father was an army general, right? Well, he’s just won a great victory and is coming home in triumph.

Prince Peng Chang says: Nice. Also, in order that Lord Lu doesn’t slip up again with so much on his mind, we’ll give Pointy Father the Ministry of Defense job. Peace out (cough, cough.)

Outside, everybody is kind of hyped that Lord Lu has been taken down a peg, including Young Prince. But then Lord Lu ambles over to him and asks what he thinks of the theater performance they just witnessed. He’s happy, he says! Lord Lu says: brothers kill brothers who are too forward and ambitious. The Young Prince says: neener neener. Lord Lu says: I’m trying to play nice here.

So, back in the House of Pointy, I am never going to think of this woman as a heartwarming motherly figure, and why is LiGe hanging on to her arm like she’s an octegenarian who can’t walk? She’s not, she can just fine. The woman is mentally unstable to react the way she has and it’s creepy. You know nothing of this girl , you don’t even really know she’s your daughter, and you’re throwing away the kids–the daughter–that you actually have raised and that you do know. She makes Not Sister Girl give LiGe her makeup. Sheeeeeeeesh. Like, I get the rest of the family being welcoming because they’re also slightly reserved and suspicious, too. I get Not Sister being jealous–because HER MOTHER is pushing her down HARD in favor of a girl who just showed up who is sullen and unfriendly and unresponsive–but still trying to be kind and friendly. I do not get the mother’s reaction to this, I don’t get why no one else finds anything wrong with it, and she creeps me out.

OK, back to the people I do like. Lord Lu Senior is upset they lost the Defense Minister position, because that meant money. Lord Lu Junior says: it’s not a big deal.

Green Sidekick comes in to report that Pointy Father has, however, been cleaning house. All of their people have been removed.

Lu Senior says: it’s kind of weird that Prince Peng Chang is starting to throw his weight around now, isn’t it?

Lu Junior Says: Let’s go check on our prisoner.
…He has one of the assassin girls there!–he switched her with a dead body and brought her there. She hasn’t said a word yet, though….except to swear that she’s going to kill him. He shows her LiGe’s mask and crossbow and asks about that person….fade to black. That was unsatisfying.

I would prefer a nice villain monologue, or if he was able to Break Them By Talking. That would be badass.

Outside, LiGe is shopping and blah blah, a (fake) injustice happens in front of her. And, OH. Prince Peng Chang (with his fake moustache) wanders up. He recognizes LiGe as the assassin girl. LiGe is calmly dealing with the situation, but Peng Chang nee Boat Guy comes over to enact a wholly unneeded “rescue.” LiGe ignores him. so he has to take desperaste measures (grabbing her wrist and dragging her away, which as we all know is a sure sign of true love and romance.) Needless to say, gah, ugh, I DO NOT ACTUALLY LIKE THIS ROMANCE OR THIS GUY. I LIKE LORD LU.

Heh, she tells him to stop stalking her or she’ll beat him up. I DON”T CAAAAAARE. Also there has been a complete lack of stylish kung fu and our heroine killing people lately. I AM HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED.

Ok, so meanwhile. The Young Prince is out at a pavillion somewhere. And there’s a GIRL there! playing a dulcimer. Young Prince quotes poetry at her and she beams. And then they bow at each other. And they chat about how they both seem to be in a good mood today. And then they have a drink together. BOOOOOOORING.

OK, meanwhile. Back in the palace, Prince Peng Chang is drinking tea with his mother (mother? he calls her Mother Consort and says she’s saved him and his mother?)–she brought him medicine, and the servants look very shifty. But she’s also wondering about what’s up with Lord Lu. Is it because of that whole assassination thing?

So Lord Lu is her nephew on the maternal side. Prince Peng Chang says: of course I haven’t got anything against him, it’s just I was making sure he paid for an actual mistake. How could I do anything to my own relative? Mother Consort smiles and goes “Huh.”

Meanwhile, Pointy General Father is riding into town in triumph. Not-Mom is hovering over LiGe, who is getting her hair done. Not-Sister has arranged matters: LiGe is going to sing/dance/whatever (a song, we point out, that Not-Sister wrote), for Pointy Father at the banquet. Not-Sister is being entirely too cheerful and kind….I have suspicions.

So Pointy Father arrives at home, only to be attacked at the door by Little Brother. Without much success. Dad disarms and then compliments him. But overall, he’s also very anxious to meet his new/returned daughter.

Not-Sister leads LiGe out, all dressed up, and is promptly ignored by Dad as well. You know, I’m not even going to blame this girl when she betrays them all.


Fortunately, The Young Prince arrives. He’s got a nice big sign that says “Pointy General Is An Important Person!” (Not literal translation.) More importantly, he recognizes LiGe.

So, with an oddly not-smooth transition, the next cut is Young Prince walking somewhere else, alone, and a piece of paper falls down in front of him. LiGe dropped it, because she’s walking by with a dulcimer. She gets directly to the point: why did you help me?
He says: I ain’t like Lord Lu. I’m a prince! I’m a good guy!
She says: It has nothing to do with the family. I only joined the family recently. My grudge against Lord Lu is personal.
The Young Prince says: I’ll keep that in mind. BTW, are you ever going to assassinate anyone other than Lord Lu?


One thing I have to say: the actress really is gorgeous, and the lighting/costumes/sets/her are really, really filmed to perfection.

So anyway, Not Sister is being faced with another round of My Family Is Ignoring Me In Favor Of Some Girl Who Just Showed Up (and is playing a song I WROTE for MY dad).

But, heh, LiGe breaks the dulcimer string on the first note. HAH. And then she walks over and slaps Not Sister. Eh? She is claiming that Not Sister taught her the wrong song?–instead of “Crane Song”, it was “Ghost Song,” something which would surely hurt Hysterical Idiot Mom (BWAH, AT LEAST SOMEONE RECOGNIZED IT), and thence get her, LiGe, in trouble. Oh, BTW, The Young Prince was the one who warned me about it!

The Young Prince backs her up, because of course he does.

Not Sister defends herself: after EVERYTHING that she’s put up with for the sake of her new sister and all the things that the family has been doing to her, has she yet done anything to LiGe? And indeed, it looks like she hasn’t, because the music score was “Crane Song” after all.

Not Sister says: Daaaaaaad something is going on here and it’s weird and wrong.

Pointy Chin agrees.

But The Young Prince says: Hey, uh, she was with me. She was, uh, saving some bullied children!

LiGe pulls out one of the maidservants and accuses her of switching the music score. And threatens her with a scorpion….

OK, I’m done. These people are stupid, boring, unrealistic, morons, and the plot I liked–KILL PRINCE PENG CHANG! BROTHERHOOD! LOYALTY! ASSASSINS!–has ground to a halt. I’d be happy if the hysterical moronic mother died. I’d be happy if it really was Not Sister who was trying to murder people. I’d be estatic if the heroine did murder someone, because she’s A TOUGH ASSASSIN BABE HELLO THIS IS HER JOB.

I may check a few more of the later episodes, but this is officially a pass for me, now. What can I say? I don’t like the hero, because he has done nothing that gains my interest or sympathy. I do like the villain, because he has done nothing that hasn’t gained my interest or sympathy, and he was also really badass in the first episode. I did like the heroine when she was a tough assassin babe running around DOING THINGS. I liked the plot when it seemingly had a direction and there were people like Eyepatch Guy who had duplicitious motives and hidden agendas. And I do not like the Pointy Family because they creep me out.


The Song of Glory – Ep 3 – CDrama Recap


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.


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.

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.

The Song of Glory recap – episode 2

I have to work, and I have to prep for an interview, and I have to buy food, and I have to work out. So here’s Episode 2 of a Chinese drama instead of the actual review of Peace Talks.

Lil’Sis immediately bumps into Lord Lu and a bunch of other mooks. Heroine attempts to run to the rescue, but Big Brother accupuncture-stuns her. A’Nu refuses to speak to Lord Lu, so he stabs her in the neck. SLOWLY. DAMN.
OH MY GOD SHE LOOKS OVER AND SEES HER FRIENDS AND SMILES AT THEM, then grabs the blade and slashes her throat the rest of the way. OK, with barely any screentime, this character manages to make a genuine impression. Nice.
So. The Dowager is hovering over the stabbed guy. Our hero is still MIA, hopefully burned to death in a locked library. No, I’m not rooting for the villain already, what? Why would I do that just because he’s handsome and good at martial arts? The Prince guy’s friend (look, do I know his name? No. Does he have any identifying marks? No. So, you know, that guy) immediately tries to have Lord Lu, who wanders in, arrested and tortured. Lord Lu’s friend protests that that’s complete slander, but then the Prince does show up, completely unburned. Darn it.
(PWAH, he rigged up a frigging battering ram with a rope and a ladder?!) And then he gives the order to arrest Lord Lu. Once again, Lord Lu’s friend jumps to his defence. Lord Lu, for all we know completely honestly (and with a complete calm that is kind of impressive given that he’s talking to royals who would prefer him to be kowtowing look I like this guy, OK? and I don’t have any particular reason to not like him, and I don’t have any reason to like the Prince. SO SUE ME), points out that he had absolutely no idea they were going to do this, and that he’s had plenty of opportunities to assassinate the Prince already.
Some guy in a funky hat pops up to state that although he! tried to stop it! Lord Lu and his men killed all the assassins they got a hold of! The Prince gloats a bit that, boy, that kinda makes it look bad for you, don’t it, Lord Lu. Lord Lu, for his part, says, “Yeah, man, those soldiers I brought with me sure are good at killing, aren’t they? Loyal little buggers. Brutal.” [glare.] [glare]
The Dowager defuses the situation, and the Prince volunteers to do the interrogating himself, when the culprits are found. Then he brushes off the Princess Consort (is that his wife? Sister?) and leaves, with a final glare.
Elsewhere, Lord Lu is talking to his sidekick: he genuinely didn’t know the dancers were also assassins. And while they’re both after the Prince, he’s the one feeling the heat unless they get caught. So: keep one alive.
Elsewhere: the Prince is talking to his two sidekicks: Funky Hat and Pointy Chin guy. Pointy knows that there is still one dancer in the troupe alive. Prince says: just follow Lord Lu’s people, he’s the one who’s going to be really worried about finding her. (Note: it looks like this drama is going to lean hard on “People in authority can’t be blamed for troubles! They just don’t know about it! The real culprits are the lower down people in authority! If Comrade Stalin knew about our sufferings he definitely would do something about it!” Ah well, if you are producing entertainment media in an oppressive government regime, you’ve got to toe the party line, I guess. Anyhow, I’m rooting for the villain anyway.)–the Prince is innocent of harm; his brother the Emperor is possibly innocent…the real villain is that dastardly Lord Lu! Who…has in two episodes not done anything except be badass and slightly smug.
But I digress.
Elsewhere, Heroine (clutching A’Nu’s bracelet) and Brother Assassin have taken shelter. Heroine, when she wakes up, is pissed that it was apparently already part of the official plan for everyone else–including A’Nu– to die and her to escape. She tries to storm off, but Brother dissuades her! He’s also sad about it! But! They have to obey orders. Because. Now they have to avenge them! You can’t let our brothers and sisters down! ((Not letting them die would have been a good start.))
(Heroine’s name is Li Ge?)
So after blubbering a while, LiGe is outside brooding and flashbacking. The old lady of the house is asking pointed questions about her bracelet, but just right then Brother Assassin shows up, just ahead of the search party. Granny and the kids hide them….INEPTLY…I MEAN SERIOUSLY, THEIR ENTIRE FACES ARE STICKING OUT…
And with their normal mook competence, the searchers find nothing. So the next morning, LiGe is in a war outfit and marching off with a sword to complete the mission. Assassin Brother and some kid with a freaking crossbow also volunteer to go along? Heroine dramatically puts on a big hat with a flowy veil.
Elsewhere! Lord Lu is presiding over what looks like a pile of bodies? And then Heroine fires a flaming arrow into the pile? She and Brother Assassin shoot at Lord Lu and then run off.
This action scene is not nearly as good as in the first episode, let me tell you. Sheeeeeeeesh. The trick was the ACTION, NOT THE FLOWY VEILS, SHEESH GUYS.
(the bodies were their friends, and Brother Assassin pours one out for their homies. That’s nice, but..)wait, was that IT? YEGADS, did you guys utterly and totally blow through the budget that fast?
So back at the house where they’re staying, Nice Old Lady has brought someone to see LiGe. That is the Dowager? No? Huh? She immediately freaks out and starts calling her Jia’er. (Lady, she took that bracelet off someone else. Unless someone else also took it from her first?) Aaaand then faints.
So, in the house/palace, Mom and Other Little Sister (actually her cousin?) are staring at her and trying to get her to drink/eat, whatever. One of the other siblings shows up (his name is Feng) and OH. OK.
SO: this is the family of Pointy Chin Army Guy (who stopped Lord Lu from killing her when he had her on the ropes in episode 1). OKAY, now I see what’s going to happen here. The Prince is going to marry her in order to strengthen the ties between their familes because he needs military support. Little knowing that, dun dun dun, she is actually an assassin. Gah, I really still want Lord Lu to win.
Pointy shows up and is dubious.
Anyhow, not-actually-Mom “proves” it’s her by smashing the bracelet. There’s actually another bracelet inside the bracelet…and everybody is overjoyed that their sister is home at last. Never mind that this person has been extremely quiet and sullen.
Also, Miss Cousin gets manhandled by Actually Mom for asking questions…but bounces back. Possibly.
OK, so back at the palace, the Dowager is hovering over the stabbed guy and begging him to come back to her. She is also refusing to see Lord Lu–because she’s already done everything she humanly can for him. (hm?)
Elsewhere! Lord Lu gets a report from Green Sidekick. The Prince has been clearing house, so they’ve only got one guy on the inside, now. Sidekick says that the situation is urgent! Lord Lu says: just be patient; there are lots of people who want to kill the Prince. Lord Lu still wants that assassin, especially after the whole burning the bodies right under his nose thing.
So back with our heroine (who is in her underwear). Now, she and Assassin Brother both know it’s unlikely that A’Nu was the general’s kidnapped daughter, but there is the bracelet, and there’s “mother’s intuition” (yeah right). Assassin Bro says that splitting up (he and the kid can hide in a pharmacy), she going with the family, is a good idea. Hiding in plain sight and being close to the center of power is a good idea.
But anyhow. Miss Cousin is trying to be super friendly, but keeps bouncing off. (is Miss Cousin played by Tiffany Tang?)
So meanwhile, the stabbed prince wakes up, and he is also convinced that it is Lord Lu who is behind this all. (The Dowager has an interesting reaction to this), and lol, every time he says Lord Lu’s name, Prince-Hero has to fake a coughing fit. OK, wait, so I missed the details, but: Lord Lu is somehow related (closely) to the Dowager and therefore to the imperial family/throne.
Well that explains why he thinks he can take it.

So: the momentum is slowing down already, there’s no action, I still have no idea why we’re supposed to root for the hero as opposed to the villain, but the cinematography/blah whatever, colors are still pretty OK and the characters haven’t automatically necessarily stopped being badass yet.

Drama Recap – The Song of Glory – ep 1

So! So far (I’m on episode two; I’m going to go to episode five and see how things look from there), this show has: style, action, and a lack of draggy romance, badass characters and lots of forward momentum. Let’s see how long it lasts.

So! We start off with a dancing girl troupe performing. They are bait and the fish is apparently Lord Lu, who I expect is the bad guy because he is watching a dancing girl troupe, looks smug, and has a small beard. Otherwise he’s rather handsome, and he also doesn’t fall all over the heroine when she proposes they make a deal, so I kind of like him.
Also present is the sickly (faking it) Prince Peng Chang. He, like everyone else, dislikes Lord Lu, but is forced to play nice. He feels he’s got a break, however, since (?) his friend’s dad is in the military and ? might be returning home with the potential to oppose the Lu family? I’m not sure about this.
Our heroine is actually an assassin who has been raised from childhood to hate Prince Peng Chang and is planning to kill him at the dance. Nice. After that, she and her lil’sis A’Nu are going to go find A’Nu’s biological parents and live happily ever after together. Yeah…right…
Meanwhile! In the palace, the Dowager Consort some lady is comforted by her younger daughter for the eighteen-years-past kidnapping of her older daughter. Ooooo.
There is a stylish making-up-slash-preparing-for-the-assassination montage, as the troupe prepares to come perform at the royal palace. It lasts about thirty seconds, though. And then the crossbows come out, I’m loving this. Heroine girl shoots at the prince, but someone else takes the bullet for him (his brother). Then she falls backwards off the steps but her troupe catches her in their arms and launches her back. Awesome. Then she breaks someone’s spear with her bare hands. Niiiiice, I like it.
At this point, the Dowager notices that one of her sons is dead and starts screaming. Also at this point, Peng Chang glares at the shocked and useless Lord Lu.
Meanwhile! At the assassin headquarters, the troupe’s male leads are….brooding? Celebrating? The Old Master Guy with the eyepatch is all in for revenge/whatever he’s in for and walks off with an evil laugh. The Younger Brother guy, however, is somewhat dubious, having certain lingering desires in his heart. Like, staying alive.
OH WOW THE MAIDSERVANTS HAVE WEAPONS STASHED AND JUMP INTO THE FIGHT NICE. That was kind of awesome. Unfortunately, they get stomped by the guards almost immediately. That is not nice.
The Prince orders Lord Lu arrested. He maintains his innocence and begs for the opportunity to prove himself–which comes immediately, as Heroine throws her sword and he grabs someone else’s and parries it. So he gets the chance and is off to go capture her–alive.
Uh oh.
But there is a still quite stylish fight with curtains where the heroine chases after the Prince and his guards. OK, this is NICE. She disposes of the guards, but then when she does stab the Prince he catches the blade. And then his loyal friend shows up so he’s safe again and she’s fighting him now. Why is Lord Lu not being useful?! But then another masked assassin-looking girl shows up?
And then one of the servants tries to stab the Prince–his escort is getting whittled down–too! Lol, HAH, Prince asks him if he’s working for Lord Lu, and the guy says that “Lu is not the only person on Earth who wants to kill you.” Then he sets the library on fire and the servants outside barricade the doors. Exactly what has this Prince done that makes people despise him this much? I mean, we as the audience know he’s innocent because a) he’s handsome, b) everyone knows how helpless and powerless to do wrong an Imperial Prince is, c) he’s probably the hero, (I like Lord Lu! Whaaaaat!?) but…
So we’re back to the heroine and, y’know, that other guy. And they have a slightly less stylish but still very exciting fight among a bunch of drums. She kicks the guy down finally and is taking off AND THEN!
Lord Lu arrives! I’m so excited. HA, she kicks a drum at him and then he just ducks under it and it hits a bunch of his men instead. But now Other Guy pops back up and she’s fighting two against one. And spitting up blood. And then throws another drum at Lord Lu and he just slices it in half and keeps going on to knock her down and she falls and then he’s almost going to kill her but Other Guy remembers they’re supposed to TAKE THEM ALIVE! But then she gets away while he’s blocking Lord Lu, who is fairly disgusted with this idea. Also, they have just noticed that the Prince is actually missing.
Meanwhile! It’s looking very bad for the prince guy who got shot.
Heroine is limping off, amids the bodies. She bumps into lil’sis A’Nu, who is in even worse shape–but still smiling like a game and good lil’sis who wants to stay alive and go find her parents, do you hear me A’Nu? A’Nu?
A’Nu gives Heroine her heirloom bracelet and asks her to find her parents for her. Um. And then grabs Heroine’s robe and mask and tries to take off. Heroine grabs her desperately, but when the Younger Assassin Brother Guy shows up, she breaks free and he just stops Heroine from following. She screams at him but he’s unwounded and has the upper hand, and…