Writer/director: Qing Mei / Xie Ze
Date: December 2021
Number of episodes: 39
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Action
Based on book/manga?: Yes, “Luoyang” by Ma Bo Yong
The last part of episode 19 and 20, alone makes Luoyang worth watching. Especially the second half of episode 20. This interaction between Gao Bing Zhu (Haung Xuan) and Yao Niang (Zhang Li) that takes almost 20mins off screen time. Each moment has you glued to the screen.
The acting is breathtaking, raw, wild, natural and the emotions that both need to convey are complex and intense and both actors take it to the next level. This is the crescendo of one major plot. It’s honestly one of the best drama scenes I have ever seen. Not a word wasted, the perfect combination of silence and music. The dramatic changes in emotion, from laughing, to anger, to distress, to shouting out one sentence, is engrossing. I wish I could have been on set when they filmed this.
You get totally sucked in. But this scene can only be fully immersive and if you’ve followed the entire plot until this point. It’s the immense weight of the backstory to that leads to the interactions that add to the poignancy.
What a treat to get something so powerful halfway through a story!
As for the ending of episode 19, when Prince Dong Chuan (Liu Duan Duan) stands up to approach the mole while he is being tortured. He only says a few lines, but they are chilling, intimidating and portray that he is a formidable man. Until this point, he seems quite wishy-washy, but this reveals that he can be dangerous and has more guts than he has showed until this point. I am curious to see what happens to his characters and if he is actually even more dangerous, competent, and intelligent than he appears up until this point.
Episode 20 ended on a cliffhanger, and I am looking forward to see what happens next.