Management: This episode was one of those rare moments that remind me of the power of artistic expression.
Some nice little details here that hint at the way the average citizen perceives the momentous events of the past few years – first with them referring to the scholar as a “Goddess” (something I’m sure she’d have mixed feelings about, considering her views on education and the church), as well as commoners mistaking the messenger for their king. To these people, the political machinations of church and state are obviously far removed from their lives, and it’s nice that the show can so subtly and offhandedly acknowledge the esoteric nature of our heroes’ game of thrones.
…and then I watched straight through to the end. And forgot to breathe. And I think I even cried a little bit.
That was incredible. A perfect thesis statement for the show, drawing in the ideas of freedom and servitude, the importance of education, critical thinking, and self-improvement, the tyranny of assumed righteousness, the resonance of a personal god… I see now that the older maid’s personal journey is the true victory the show is attempting to portray: the freedom to imagine a better tomorrow, a freedom so many forces wish to take away. That vicious attack by the guards, by far the most violent thing the show has portrayed, a card the show has held until this exact, crucial moment… her final resolution that her dignity as a human being is worth more than her life. This was one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever watched.
I’d argue there have been pacing issues and occasional missteps along the way, but if it led to this… this is riveting, inspiring stuff. This is why we make art.