Dae-mok (played by Heo Joon-ho) is the grand wizard of a massive conspiracy. Dae-mok is not literally a wizard, he just seems like one because of his mastery of spooky hallucinogens and a massive spy network capable of making these creepy physical effects pop up out of nowhere. So when Yoon (played by Kim Myeong-soo) makes a deal with Dae-mok to become King, out of sheer paranoia, Yoon ends up forcing his son Seon (played by Yoo Seung-ho) to wear a mask, murdering anyone who sees Seon's face. Then Dae-mok's granddaughter Hwa-goon (played by Yoon So-hee) enters the picture and-
Drama Review Master God Of Noodles176 Articles
Ga-eun (played by Kim So-hyeon-I) is the young woman who kept getting all those dramatic camera shots in the second episode, even though at the time we had no idea who she was. Here, we quickly discover that Ga-eun is a kind woman, who assumes on general principle that anybody being chased after by armed men is probably innocent. This turns out to be a pretty reasonable assumption considering that by the end of the fourth episode...alas, the other Seon (played by L) is not so lucky as the handsome prince who shares his moniker.
Cheong-eun (played by Shin Hyun-soo) is, to date, the only ally Prince Seon has with any appreciable combat skills. This is put to use immediately, as Cheong-eun has to help Prince Seon fight his way out of last episode's cliffhanger. The ensuing chase, while not making the best logistical sense is very tense and action-packed. The real shocker, though, is how a confrontation between the King's men and an organized crime gang ends with King Yoon telling them to back off.
Yep, these two episodes are pretty big downers. Reunited with his father, a badly freaked out Prince Seon tries to explain the overall situation only to be told, in no uncertain terms, that Dae-mok is apparently the real power in Joseon and will murder them all if anyone tries to cross him. A complete absence of any possible succor only makes the situation worse. We're at the point where Prince Seon's secret identity is causing more problems than solutions, since too many of the bad guys know what he looks like.
If the previous set of episodes was meant to establish the hopelessness of the general universe in "Ruler: Master of the Mask" this set seems determined to prove that King Yoon was right all along. Every new plan Prince Seon comes up with ends increasingly catastrophically. Negotiation only makes people angrier.This escalates until we hit a cliffhanger that can't possibly be topped.
That's not figurative language. I literally can't see how the next cliffhanger could possibly end on a more extreme note than this, or how Prince Seon could possibly bounce back from a situation this bad. If Dae-mok is this powerful, andwilling to react this harshly to themildest stratagem, and if Prince Yeon doesn't even have the advantage of the mask anymore...what's left exactly? Does Prince Seon have any advantages at all?
I used to think that Dae-mok was smart, but his plan for maintaining power after murdering the royal family is...disappointing. And also accidentally hilarious. The other Seon does not look, sound, or act like the real Prince Seon. He couldn't fool Dae-mok for a single scene even when the unexpected help of a false witness. Yet apparently, the other Seon is now the lynchpin upon which all of Dae-mok's evil schemes rest.
The actual ambitions of Dae-mok's evil schemes are a tad inconsistent. He had a good thing going with the water price gouging scheme. Water is something everyone needs, but very few people know about the capital costs necessary to procure it. Rather than just continue with that, Dae-mok uses his victory to unnecessarily antagonize the peasantry. At which point Ga-eun comes up with an equally silly and improbable plan to escape, which of course works. Although this is mostly because Dae-mok straight up forgets that the peasants exist for five years.