Lovers Of The Red Sky
Episode 16 of Lovers of the Red Sky begins this finale with Cheon-Ki painting the royal portrait. With wisps of green smoke radiating from her, she continues to paint. She’s also ever-more aware that Ha-Ram is going to show up at the Sealing Ceremony.
Yangmyung is there to check up on them though, informing the painters that they have 4 hours to go. He then enlists the help of Mi-Soo to seal the door while they work.
Cheon-Ki urges her peers to work quicker as Ha-Ram shows up at the palace. He immediately shows off his red eyes and black smoky complexion. He’s no longer Ha-Ram and the demon is ready to strike.
The seal prevents him from entering the palace though, at least to begin with. The demon soon starts slashing away at the mystical energy but Mi-Soo jumps in to try and stop him. Despite conjuring blasts of purple energy from her hands, she only succeeds in slowing him down. She’s soon thrown across the courtyard before Ha-Ram enters the chambers and confronts Cheon-Ki.
What does the demon do to Cheon-Ki?
As the demon steps into the palace and confronts Cheon-Ki, it sits opposite her and manages to drain the energy from the young woman, taking his eyes back and blinding Cheon-Ki in the process.
As she pleads with Ha-Ram to come forth, Cheon-Ki is blinded and the future of the divine painting left hanging in the balance.
Naturally, God Samshin and the Tiger Spirit both band together and try to trap the demon outside. They manage to bide the painters some time, as Yangmyung appears before Cheon-Ki’s side. He puts a paintbrush in her hand as Hwacha appears and reassures her, confirming she can do this.
Is the painting completed?
Despite being blinded, Cheon-Ki is guided by both Yangmyung and Hwacha who try to steer her down the right path. However, it’s actually the spirit of Eun-O, Cheon-Ki’s father, which helps her complete the portrait.
There’s a certain poetic irony to all this, given he’s the one who started the painting all those years back. It makes sense that he’s the one to help his daughter complete it now.
With no Dae-Yu in sight, Cheon-Ki manages to finish the painting. However, Hwacha is the one who manages to add the needed divinity to trap the demon.
How is the demon stopped?
So here we go. The final fight commences, with Samshin sacrificing herself and turning into a giant butterfly to stop the demon. Clutching it with her wisps of smoke, she charges toward the painting and pulls the demon in with her.
There’s an almighty struggle, as the room is shrouded with brilliant and terrifying wisps of orange and black smoke. The demon is thrown into the painting, sealed away forever, but at the expense of the goddess Samshin disappearing.
Mi-Soo finally redeems herself too, sacrificing her own life to help with this mighty task. As she sputters blood across the floor, she passes away.
What happens between Cheon-Ki and Yangmyung?
In the wake of all this drama, Cheon-Ki is still blinded. Ha-Ram survives too and gets his sight back, holding his lover under the red moon. With everything finding its rightful place, we’re back to how our characters were all those weeks ago. Naturally, the pair kiss and it seems our couple get their happily ever after after all.
We then jump forward 5 years later, during the 34th year of Seongjo’s reign. Dae-Yu is heading off to travel the world, deciding a painter so talented shouldn’t be confined to one place.
Prince Juhyung is still in prison and actually not dead yet, despite still being infected with the demon’s scar. In fact, he and his followers have been planning this big escape for the last 5 years and with all the troops in place, they’re ready to strike.
Yangmyung is ready to move out and he says his goodbyes to Ha-Ram and Cheon-Ki, who happen to be down by the shore.
How does Cheon-Ki get her sight back?
As Yangmyung quizzes Cheon-Ki, we cut back and learn that the blindness befalling her was actually the demon’s curse. With the spirit trapped inside the painting and the threat thwarted, she’s subsequently been healed too. The curse is gone and both Ha-Ram and Cheon-Ki are no longer blinded. But what of the situation involving Ha-Ram’s father? Well, Yangmyung solves that.
He heads over to visit the happy couple and gives them a Bestowal of Honor. This is basically an appointment of office for the deceased, which in turn would allow Ha-Ram and his descendants to take the state exam and no longer be disgraced by past generations.
With celebrations all round, there’s time for one more curveball thrown our way. A messenger rushes in and informs that something is happening at the palace and Yangmyung needs to hurry back and deal with that.
How does Lovers of the Red Sky end?
Prince Juhyang breaks free and with his followers, managing to take over the Jeongan Pavilion. Yangmyung dons his armour and heads off to confront him, determined to stop the man at any cost. As his army charges at Juhyang, the season comes to an end.
The Episode Review
Wait, what? What was that? Lovers of the Red Sky has been a strange historical drama in many ways, starting with an almighty bang and then sort of limping over to then finish line. Somehow the show has been both too long and not long enough, squeezing so much into this final hour and ending on an unnecessary cliffhanger that does more harm than good.
With no word on whether a second season is coming (at the time of writing this), Red Sky makes it difficult to get invested in the final hour.
The actual intriguing part of this show – that being the demon – is all but finished by the 30 minute mark and instead we get build-up for this Juhyang fight that never actually comes to fruition. The trouble is, it’s the demon part that’s made this show unique and enjoyable, not the simple feud between brothers.
When it comes to historical dramas, Lovers of the Red Sky has been an okay watch but despite some enjoyable characters and a pretty decent premise, the ending does not live up to expectations.
Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!