Maejukheon Painting Contest: Part Two
Episode 6 of Lovers of the Red Sky begins with the evaluation starting for the second round. It’s a tough competition and it comes down to two final paintings. This will decide which painter comes in first place before the third and final round.
The two finalists are none other than Cheon-Ki and Dae-Yu. She’s questioned over her black boulders, which Cheon-Ki iterates is a result of her blindness. Given how she grew up, it strikes a chord with Yangmyung, who helps the girl to pass the second round. With the scores tied, both prolific painters make it to the third round along with four others.
In private, Yangmyung speaks to his father about Cheon-Ki’s painting ability. Given her father painted the portrait of the late cursed King, they deliberate over whether they can get her in to fix the painting. For now, Yangmyung heads in to see the competitors, sharing a drink and food with them.
As they sit together, Yangmyung presses Cheon-Ki over the butterfly and questions whether it’s her signature. Cheon-Ki chuckles nervously but does well to deflect his questioning. At least to begin with anyway.
It doesn’t take long for him to take Cheon-Ki aside and tells her she needs to put her own emotion into the painting and paint from her heart. Given the fraudulent paintings she’s been involved with (and that Yangmyung is well aware of), he tells Cheon-Ki that she’s been wasting her talent.
When he leaves, Prince Juhyang sits with Yangmyung and suggests he step back from his role. However, he refuses to do so. As Juhyang leaves in a huff, Ha Ram manages to intercept a message sent out to confirm the coup on the table.
That evening though, Ha Ram heads off to visit Cheon-Ki. He questions why she’s thinking about leaving and what follows is an emotional plea regarding everything that’s standing in her way. He reassures her that it’s not her fault but the words are exactly as he said them in the past.
Cheon-Ki eventually opens up and admits to Ha Ram that she’s the blind girl from the peach tree, as the pair head out to their old hangout spot by the lake. As they realize just who the other is, the pair kiss tentatively.
Only, this brings out the demon who demands Ha Ram come to him. It’s enough to shock Ha Ram into denial, telling Cheon-Ki he’s the wrong person and she should stop.
It’s a pretty heartbreaking moment and one that Cheon-Ki struggles with. She deliberates over their kiss late at night too, bemoaning her own luck.
In the morning, the third round begins. Now, this time the painters will be paired up and competing against one another. Dae-Yu chooses to compete against Cheon-Ki. The theme this time around is animals too. However, there’s a problem. Cheon-Ki’s arm is still in a lot of pain but she remains determined to work through that to try and win the competition.
Dae-Yu absolutely blows the competition away, winning 29 red sticks. Cheon-Ki though, changes the game and draws numerous butterflies instead – the effect of horses galloping past and kicking up petals into the air. As Prince Yangmyung puts it, it’s a masterpiece. In fact, she wins the whole competition by accumulating an impressive 31 red sticks.
Each of the paintings are auctioned off but it takes Yangmyung getting involved to swing the balance of play. The painting is bid between Ha Ram and Yangmyung, with the former eventually bidding 300 bags.
With Cheeon-Ki winning the competition, she asks Yangmyung for her wish which happens to be medicine for her father. Yangmyung promises to do just this, finally understanding her journey and why Cheon-Ki has been doing all of this.
With the competition over, Cheon-Ki’s father grabs a paintbrush and charges at Prince JuHyang. He rambles about the demon, determined to try and stop the evil Prince before it’s too late. As he looks on with interest, Cheon-Ki bursts in to grab her father.
The Episode Review
So the painting competition comes to an end and Cheon-Ki wins in the end. I mentioned before that I thought she may fail but to be honest, narrative-wise it makes sense if she’s doing all of this just for medicine for her father. Of course, this episode also develops Ha Ram and Cheon-ki’s relationship further too, although the looming presence of the demon continues to be a big talking point here.
Likewise, the show manages to portray Yangmyung in a much more favorable light, with him finally understanding why Cheon-Ki is doing all of this. It’s a good inclusion in truth, and one that helps to add more depth to this character.
The ending though hints that we’ve got lots more drama to come in the upcoming episodes. Quite what will happen next week remains a mystery but it’s definitely not to be missed!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|