Sound of the Desert (Da Mo Yao): Eps 7-13
When I first started watching Da Mo Yao, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to watching the whole drama. Episodes 1-6 didn’t feel addicting to me, nor did they draw me into the story. BUT I’m happy to say that now that I’m 13 episodes into the drama, I’ve concluded that it’s worth the watch. Eps1-6 were largely focused on Xin Yue’s endeavors with her Luo Yu Fang business, but episodes 7-13 are more about the love triangle and the political situation between Nan Chao/Da Mo. So things are starting to pick up pace. And yes, I am addicted!
It’s no secret that Wei Wu Ji (Eddie Peng) is my favorite character. Just look at all my screenshots and my comments on the show, they are all about Wu Ji. 😛 *cue instant giggling* All he has to do is appear on screen and I’ll instantly start giggling to myself, THAT’S how charismatic he is. One of the things I like about Wu Ji is his composure–he always has the aura of a dignified general and a ~gentleman~. Sure, we often see him being acting like an adorable love struck boy around Xin Yue…but there’s still something about the way he holds himself that makes him seem very poised and manly. Again, props to Eddie Peng for his portrayal of Wu Ji. His stage presence always dominates his scenes and he really makes Wu Ji into a character of his own. I can’t imagine anyone else as Wu Ji. I also love the outfits/styling for Wu Ji’s character because the black/dark navy blue colors & gray furs really suit him.
At a first glance, Wu Ji seems like a perfect hero. After all, he is a dashing general who patiently waits for Xin Yue for over TWO YEARS and proclaims that he will protect Xin Yue no matter what. Wu Ji usually plays the role of the protector and the confidant..the guy who will always be there for Xin Yue even when she is heartbroken over another man. However there’s more to Wu Ji’s character than just the ‘perfect gentleman’ persona. He does have a darker side to him, especially when it comes to his status as a young established general and as the nephew of a princess. Wu Ji’s high rank comes with a price. Many people are jealous of him and are waiting for him to make a wrong move to fall from his glory. There is undoubtedly a lot of pressure on Wu Ji to fulfill people’s expectations and to maintain his position as a high-ranking general. On top of that, Wu Ji is disillusioned with the politics of the royal family; i.e. he mentions how everyone is duplicitous and has ulterior motives/how he learned to distance himself from the palace politics for his own protection. Considering all that Wu Ji has seen in the palace and on the battlefield, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some trust issues. His upbringing may also be a factor in why he sometimes has a cold exterior when he’s with people he doesn’t know well. (Hong Gu refers to Wu Ji as cold and intimidating in earlier episodes) In contrast to Mo Xun, who pretends to be weak so that he’s not perceived as a threat, Wu Ji takes on a strong and imposing persona to signal to people that he’s not to be messed with. He only lets down his guard and shows his warmer side when he’s with Xin Yue.
^I can’t get enough Xin Yue x Wu Ji screenshots!
Currently Xin Yue and Wu Ji are best friend status. I like how their interactions are open and natural. I always get a kick out of their scenes together because of their great chemistry! 😀 Xin Yue wouldn’t want to admit it but Wu Ji is now a normal part of her life and it feels kinda weird when he’s not there. (ex. when he goes to battle and can’t see Xin Yue for a while, she looks disappointed!) Wu Ji has really grown on her even though she always complains about how annoying he is, heheh. Of course Xin Yue knows how Wu Ji feels towards her–it’s so obvious you might as well stamp “I love Xin Yue” on Wu Ji’s forehead. Instead of rejecting Wu Ji, she feigns ignorance, probably because she doesn’t want to lose her best friend. Maybe she doesn’t want to look at Wu Ji as a man/potential love interest yet because she’s so set on having Mo Xun as her life partner. So Wu Ji is friend-zoned for the time being. There are some moments where Xin Yue unintentionally hurts Wu Ji’s feelings. (Since Wu Ji is well aware of Xin Yue’s love for Mo Xun.) i.e. In episode 12, Xin Yue abruptly leaves Wu Ji to go with Mo Xun. She looks back at Wu Ji to see that he looks totally crushed and hurt. :”””(((((( Then he tries to force a little smile as she leaves. AWWWW!!! Don’t worry though, for the most part, Wu Ji takes all this in stride and he never gives up pursuing Xin Yue. He’s always by her side and he takes it upon himself to cheer her up when she’s feeling down. A lot of Wu Ji’s actions are bold and impulsive but when it comes to Xin Yue’s feelings, he’s very sensitive and considerate. I love the scene when he comforts Xin Yue after she gets rejected by Mo Xun! Hopefully Wu Ji’s persistence will pay off in the future episodes…in fact, I’m betting on it since there are plenty of signs that Wu Ji and Xin Yue are meant to be:
- Xin Yue’s flowers blossom for the first time in Wu Ji’s presence. The flowers represent LOVE.
- Xin Yue gets a love fortune about heartbreak & Wu Ji vs. Mo Xun.
- Xin Yue has a dream where the person she loves gets shot by an arrow. She calls out Jiu Ye’s name….only to see that Wu Ji is the one who got shot!!!
- Xin Yue starts worrying about Wu Ji’s safety..while she’s with Mo Xun!
- Qin Xiang makes Xin Yue swear on the name of the person she loves. Xin Yue starts to swear on Jiu Ye’s name but Qin Xiang stops her and says ‘no, the person you LOVE’. MMMHMMM.
^Unfortunately, this didn’t actually happen. It was in Xin Yue’s dream.
The Mo Xun/Xin Yue/Wu Ji love triangle is in full swing and so far, Mo Xun is winning. Xin Yue still only has Mo Xun in her heart, and she’s convinced that she has to share in his burdens so that he can be happy. To do this, Xin Yue gets into some shady business, helps Qin Xiang enter the palace, and rapidly expands her Luo Yu Fang. The problem with Mo Xun is that Xin Yue has no idea what he’s thinking about. Their conversations rarely give her any insight into what’s going on in Mo Xun’s head. She even resorts to reading the same books that Mo Xun reads to try to understand his mindset. T_T” At one point Xin Yue wonders to herself ‘what exactly did I see in him? I don’t want to marry a book!’. (Me: WORD!) Mmhmm. So as you can see, Mo Xun is quite a mystery of a character. So far we know that he talks to pigeons, grew up isolated and alone, and is actually not as immobile/physically weak as he appears to be. Despite his powerful position as a boss, he doesn’t seem to be like a threat or a major political player. In fact, Mo Xun is an important person who can influence the outcome of the conflict between the Nan Chao kingdom & Da Mo. He pretends to be weaker than he really is to keep a low-key profile/to not raise the emperor’s suspicion of him.
As for Mo Xun’s feelings for Xin Yue, I think he’s holding himself back from accepting Xin Yue’s feelings. Wu Ji is the type that boldly declares his feelings whereas Mo Xun is the kind that quietly holds in his love. But when Xin Yue confesses her feelings for him, Mo Xun pretends that he doesn’t know what she means. (HE OBVIOUSLY KNOWS!! Even Xin Yue can tell!!!) So he rejects Xin Yue in a round-about way by avoiding the topic and pretending he had no idea that Xin Yue just put her heart out on the line for him. X__X Poor Xin Yue is totally heartbroken and decides to pretend that nothing happened. I think Mo Xun has his reasons for rejecting Xin Yue..who knows, maybe he thought that not acknowledging her feelings would hurt her less than rejecting her outright? Or he doesn’t want her to get involved with his precarious situation with the emperor?
^ Bottom right pic: I like the outfit Xin Yue wears during the confession scene.
Liu Shi Shi has gotten more comfortable in her role as Xin Yue. There are less scenes where she goes into Ruo Xi mode and more scenes where she portrays Xin Yue’s free spirited and playful ways. Xin Yue is very adaptable–she can conform to the situation whether it be in the palace, her business or with Mo Xun & Wu Ji. She’s the most lively when she’s with the leading men, so I enjoy those scenes the most. We find out more about Xin Yue’s past–she grew up with the Jie Tribe in Da Mo as “Jin Yu”. Her happy life in Da Mo was destroyed after her father died in a coup d’etat. Xin Yue escaped to live with the wolves, while her old acquaintances presumed that she died. This is why Xin Yue hesitated when she gave her name in episode 1!!! It all makes sense now!!! In light of this, I don’t get why Xin Yue claims that she has no attachment to Da Mo. (forgot what episode this was in…it was when she was talking to her old friend) She experienced happiness, rebirth, death and betrayal all Da Mo, so of course the land is quite close to her heart. Maybe Xin Yue views Da Mo & her life as Jin Yu as a thing of the past, which is why she doesn’t want to continue dwelling on it. Keeping her old ties to Da Mo would only come back to haunt her especially now that she’s heavily involved with the palace politics and is a resident of Nan Chao. It’ll be interesting to see whether she’ll support Wu Ji’s battles even though he’s fighting against the people that she used to love.
Lastly I have to talk about Qin Xiang. T_T” She’s a side character that’s still quite central to the story since she’s used as a means through which we get a glimpse into the juicy intrigue of the palace. Unfortunately, the drama in the palace is not all that juicy or exciting. T_T” All of the palace scenes/Qin Xiang scenes feel draggy and repetitive. I just can’t empathize with Qin Xiang or understand her motivations for revenge. She’s always harping on and on about how this is her fate, how she can’t escape it, how she must go on this path to self-destruction, blah blah blah. Xin Yue was totally right in pointing out that Qin Xiang is the one bringing the burden of revenge upon herself and that she’s the only one who can free herself of it.
I LOVE WEI WU JI! Enough said! 😛 Obviously I’m totally biased towards Wu Ji. Mo Xun is a good guy and I can see why Xin Yue adores him so much. Unfortunately I don’t think Mo Xun will come around anytime soon since he seems set on maintaining a platonic relationship with Xin Yue. Admittedly I took a sneak peak at the episodes ahead (again please no spoilers in comments, for those who haven’t gotten that far yet!!) and the love triangle only gets more intense from here on out!! I’m READYYY!!!
At this point in the drama, I can’t call Da Mo Yao a must-watch although I enjoy it immensely. I feel like the side stories about Qin Xiang and the Luo Yu Fang are holding back the drama since they aren’t all that interesting in the first place. I know that Qin Xiang & the Luo Yu Fang are important to the political aspect of the story…….I just wish they didn’t have so many repetitive scenes. >_>”