That's a great pre-battle speech of Gou Jian's. Even in subtitles that's a great battle speech, and makes me positively like the man and want to root for him, except for the fact that the previous sixteen episodes have taught me not to trust a word that falls from Gou Jian's exquisitely carved lips.
Fu Chai OTOH turning into his Queen of Hearts half-brother makes me very glad I know how this series ends. Did these guys *ever* learn that accidental judgements and casual slaughters are not the way to win a people's hearts and minds? (-is why Gou Jian's speech resonates so nicely.)
The last battle- snerk. I was thinking 'Look it's clearly spring here, this can't be the Big One' until we have the montage and the swelling music. OK, it's the Big One and everyone's going to buy it. Flipping subtitles have made the tactics involved completely obscure. No idea what WZX wanted to do, no idea what Fu Chai then did, short of somehow luring Yue into their abandoned camp and then surrounding them. Probably doesn't matter anyway. The death of
And finally, here is Wen Zhong twisting Bo Pi about his little finger. And here is me noticing an odd western reaction in myself. As feliciter says
He has the guts to speak the truth to *everyone* regardless of what they think or what they might do to him, the smarts to know exactly what to focus on, and the tenacity to bring them round (mostly) to his POV.The first and third are virtues here, the second- very oddly- not. Our virtuous men are not supposed to be able to manipulate, even if they manipulate by telling the exact truth. They're supposed to tell the exact truth and be executed for it. Practical political wisdom here is a necessity but not a virtue; and a truly virtuous political figure, a man of integrity like Thomas More, is supposed to be crushed by the dirty system he's too good for. If he can play the system like an instrument, as Wen Zhong does, we suspect him of not being as virtuous as he looks, because honest guys ought to finish last.
I think I blame Plato for this suspicion of political ability, though I can't say why. Him and his Forms and their surpassing reality that makes Down Here just the shadows on the cave walls. Certainly it got a boost from Platonic-derived Christianity and its attitude that involvement with the things of this fallen and sinful earth is by definition a bad thing, distracting your attention from where it should be, on the next world.
Or maybe it's that politics is so likely to compromise principle that we don't believe anyone can navigate its waters uncompromised. I look forward to Wen Zhong, clever *and* honest, proving to be an exception.