The hell just happened…?
It’s like the writer of Scarlet Heart:Ryeo figured, “hey, it’s the finale, we’re done here, let’s just kill off the heroine and stuff.” Ay caramba, what a frickin’ mess.
After all the exiles, marriages, coups, and lovechildren, where does that leave us, exactly?
Hae Soo (IU) doesn’t end up with King So (Lee Joon Gi), nor does she end up with Prince Wook (Kang Ha Neul).
I repeat: our heroine ends up with neither leading man.
In a nutshell, this is what happened in the finale: King So still kinda douchey, Hae Soo was all, “I’m done. I’m done with you, with this relationship, the palace. I’m out.” And some more characters die.
After all those princely suitors, though, Hae Soo does end up with one handsome prince, which brings us to:
18 Things That All Happened In The Scarlet Heart: Ryeo Finale: Highlights + Grievances
1. Hae Soo Marries Prince Jung
No wedding, as it was forbidden by the king, but not a bad place to be. The two live on their own. Prince Jung (Ji Soo) says he’s fine with “just being friends” though we all know he’s completely in love with Hae Soo.
(Sidenote: Yay Ji Soo! One of your characters finally lands the girl! Kiss the #foreveralone roles goodbye!)
2. We Find Out Hae Soo Is Pregnant
That was quite the reveal, nonchalantly thrown in. It was delivered like, “Hey, I’ll have the number 3, with cheese, a Coke, and a side of Hae Soo Is Pregnant.”
3. Hae Soo Kept The Poems
Only to show that Hae Soo still held a soft spot for Prince Wook – not quite a torch, though. Love notes still hit you in the heart, eh?
4. Hae Soo Is Not In Great Health
We found this out with allusions in previous episodes.
5. King So Stalks Hae Soo and Prince Wook
He gets jealous sends a spy out to report back to him on Hae Soo and Prince Jung. And then spies on them himself. Like a stalker.
6. Sidenote: Prince Jung As A Father Is Too Precious
Ji Soo – I mean Prince Jung as a father is too freaking adorable. Can you handle it?
7. Hae Soo Still Loves King So
Really? He’s the man you ask for when you’re on your deathbed? Not the one sitting at your loyal bedside, Prince Jung, your husband?
8. Prince Jung Is The Best Husband Ever
He gets Hae Soo best wet nurse around. He brings in performers and peony flowers. And he’s totally in love and loves her, though we knew this all along.
9. Hae Soo Has The Baby…And Dies
If you’re sickly in a sageuk, your character is probably going to get killed off. Convenient writing tool – a little too convenient.
10. That Other Evil Prince Never Got His
After leading Chae Ryung on, using her to spy on Hae Soo, and getting her killed, assisting in killing the Crown Prince, and joining Prince Yo’s bloody coup, Prince Won (Yoon Sun Woo) continued kickin’ it around the palace. This is kdramaland, damn it! He should’ve gotten what was coming to him.
11. Princess Yeon Hwa…Is Still Princess Yeon Hwa
Princess Yeon Hwa (Kang Han Na) became queen, sure. She had the king’s kid, sure. She totally followed in Queen Yoo’s footsteps, and now her power trip is still in heavy rotation, now set upon her son so that he will grow up and become king.
12. Queen Hwangbo’s A Broken Record
And so is Queen Hwangbo (Jung Kyung Soon): she sets her focus on making Prince Wook’s son king. Ah, old habits.
13. Prince Wook Named His Daughter Woo Hee aka Bok Soon
Sidenote: Did Prince Wook ever marry anyone else and have another kid?
14. At Least Prince Baek And Woo Hee Got It On
These shows are so G sometimes; I accept this scene as at least one legit allusion to a night of passion.
15. Even Ji Mong Is Outchea
“See ya, suckaaaas!”
16. It was all a fucking dream?!
We find out that Hae Soo nearly drowned and then was in a coma for a year, cut to modern day.
17. Prince Wook Dies (WTF?!)
Sidenote: tough break for his character – everyone else remains handsome, while Wook ages from illness.
18. And That Last Line:
“I Will Find You…My Soo.”
Yeah…I’m good, actually..
Prince Jung: “In your next life, you’ll remember me, right?”
Hae Soo: “I’m going to forget you. I’m going to forget everything. All of you.”
The show really took a contrived way of throwing everything in, especially the last two episodes.
The way they just killed off Hae Soo, her pregnancy out-of-freaking-nowhere, killing off Wook. And then the whole “it was all a dream” felt like such a cop-out – we knew it was possible, since that was the premise of the first episode, but man. I thought you were better than that, Show. At least frame it better than that. Way better.
Maybe because it was based on a webtoon? I haven’t seen it, but I’m sure they’ve taken some liberties. Something happened about halfway through the season. I knew something was funny since Episode 8, though. I had a feeling.
What happened to Prince Wook making some moves for Hae Soo, and the throne? There was no big romantic gesture or sweeping political advance from him in the last 4-5 episodes that we were all waiting for. Wook was the one who knew how to recognize allies and the more delicate nature of political strategy. It really was a huge disappointment to see that characterization never materialize when there was so much that could have enriched the story of the many power players involved.
For all of his character development, we never saw Prince Wook actually fight for Hae Soo even after he promised he would get her back. Prince Wook never came close; he didn’t even try. Heck, he was barely in the drama at all these last few rounds.
I really wish the show’s creative team gave Prince Wook more of a story arc during the second half of the drama; it was like they didn’t know what else to do with him after Princess Yeon Hwa became queen, and were too busy making King So out to be a selfish monarch to focus on anything else.
And Hae Soo. Hae Soo, Hae Soo, Hae Soo. When it was time for our heroine to step up in those last 5 episodes or so, she never did.
Overall, though, the show had a lot of great moments and storylines, mixed in with comedy and epic drama, romance and friendship. Beautiful production design, and it really distinguished a large ensemble of characters very well. I mean, I watched the entire drama, beginning to end; which is rare for me, and probably you.
But sometimes endings are the worst.