Sound of the Desert (Da Mo Yao): Eps 28-35 Final Review
Hey all Da Mo Yao fans, I’m finally back with my last review for episodes 28-35. 😉 We have 8 episodes to cover, so let’s get right into it!
As you all know, I was super exasperated with Mo Xun in the recent episodes. But by the end of DMY, I don’t really care about his noble idiot past anymore. Mo Xun has already gone above and beyond to redeem himself. And he’s not even doing this for redemption–he’s doing this out of his love for Xin Yue. The sad thing is that the costs of his devotion to Xin Yue are way too high. :'(
Even though Mo Xun is often portrayed as a calm and level-headed person, he’s actually one of the most extreme characters in DMY. The best example of Mo Xun’s extreme behavior is in episode 35, when he tests a poison antidote on his own body (to save Wu Ji’s life). The risks? DEATH. I have no doubt that Wu Ji would risk his life for Xin Yue, but would he risk his life to save Mo Xun? I think it says a lot that Mo Xun is willing to risk his own life for the man whom Xin Yue loves. Ultimately, the antidote paralyzes Mo Xun’s legs and kills his right-hand man. ARGHHH. When Mo Xun’s right-hand man died at the end I went, “NOOOOOOO!!!!! Now Mo Xun is literally all alone!!” The only companion he has at the ending is his CAMEL. YUP…not a happy ending for Mo Xun. Mo Xun claims that Xin Yue’s happiness is his happiness, but I can only feel that he ended up unhappy and alone at the end. >_>
And can I just comment on the scene when Mo Xun kisses Xin Yue goodbye!?!? When I first saw the still for this scene (top right pic), I seriously thought that Mo Xun was going to steal a kiss from Xin Yue sometime around episode 25. (when he was trying to win her back) BUT NO! This kiss is actually Mo Xun’s goodbye. *sniff*
“No matter what happens, no matter what dangers I have to face, I won’t leave. I won’t leave Wei Wu Ji behind to face the dangers in Jian An City alone.” -Xin Yue
Xin Yue faces a lot of hardships in eps 28-35, including false accusations, imprisonment, poisoning, etc. But I’d say that she’s actually at her strongest here, because she takes charge in every situation, no matter how bad things are. She is perfectly capable of taking care of herself, even when Wu Ji & Mo Xun aren’t there to back her up. For instance, she takes the steps that are necessary to protect her child, and later protects Wu Ji after he is wounded in battle. Also, Xin Yue has resolved her relationship issues with Wu Ji and Mo Xun by this point. There are no more love triangle scenes (although Mo Xun still looks so forlorn when he sees Wu Ji & Xin Yue together) where Xin Yue is wavering back and forth. She has embraced Wu Ji wholeheartedly, with no more reserves.
One of my favorite Xin Yue scenes is in episode 31 (middle left pic). As usual, Qin Xiang does what she does best–trolling. After years of putting up with Qin Xiang’s crap, Xin Yue finally loses it and strikes back. She holds Qin Xiang in a CHOKE HOLD and warns her not to mess around anymore. OMG! My reaction: “WHAT U GONNA SAY NOW, QIN XIANG?” Well, amazingly, Qin Xiang STILL trolls even while she’s in a choke-hold!! O_O”
A part of me feels bad for criticizing Xin Yue’s styling & appearance in my earlier reviews. I don’t want to focus too much on actors or actresses’ appearances, because really, it’s the acting that counts, right? Xin Yue’s costumes are important, but in the grand scheme of things, they are just one drop in the ocean. Yeah, some are more flattering than others (I especially enjoyed the new costumes in the final eps), but oh well. It’s not the end of the world, everyone.
Instead of focusing so much on Liu Shi Shi’s appearance, I would rather talk about her acting chops. Again, I don’t want to be too harsh on LSS because I know she filmed this drama soon after finishing Bu Bu Jing Xin. However, I can’t help but think that her acting range is quite limited in DMY. I never felt like LSS actually became Xin Yue. Whenever Xin Yue is on screen, I feel like I’m seeing Liu Shi Shi-as-Xin Yue and not just Xin Yue herself. Overall, I appreciate LSS’ effort but I think she has much more to offer than this. Let’s hope that she has improved in her more recent dramas.
^EDDIE, I WATCH FOR YOU!!!
Eddie Peng as Wei Wu Ji is the main reason why I stuck around so long & finished the drama. Without him, I probably would’ve dropped DMY. Yup, that is how much I love Wu Ji & how much of a difference Eddie makes in the show. DMY has made an Eddie fan out of me!! Anyways, what more can I say about Wu Ji? I have already listed all the adjectives possible to describe him in my previous reviews. One of my favorite Wu Ji scenes is in episode 31, when he thinks that Xin Yue is about to die. It’s not his most dashing or handsome moment but it’s the moment that got to me the most. It shows how much he loves Xin Yue, how scared he is of losing her, and how alone he is without her. My other favorite scene is in episode 33, when the emperor questions Wu Ji about Li Ji’s death. Wu Ji doesn’t even say anything, but GUHH this scene is so powerful!
Long story short: Xin Yue and Wu Ji have a happy ending, but it takes tons of twists and turns for them to get there. X_X Pretty much every obstacle you can think of happened. I don’t know if the ending in the original novel was better, but I felt like the DMY ending is just all over the place. It tries to be all intense with Li Ji dying, Xin Yue giving the emperor the wrong child, Xin Yue & Wu Ji faking their deaths, etc. but comes across as really long-winded and overly complicated. And I’m not a fan of the faked deaths ‘plot twist’. ERM.. I get that we need a way for Xin Yue & Wu Ji to finally be together but really, faking their deaths is the best Tong Hua came up with?!?!
^My favorite screenshot of Wu Ji & Xin Yue!
Is Da Mo Yao really the hit c-drama of 2014? Some think it is; to each his own. I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, because I did enjoy parts of the drama. I was really addicted to episodes 7-20ish and of course, I loveeeed Wei Wu Ji/Eddie Peng, hehe. But overall, I think DMY was an average c-drama with an above-average cast. It wasn’t totally amazing or unique. If DMY didn’t have Hu Ge, Liu Shi Shi, and Eddie Peng, would it have been so popular? I highly doubt it. Somewhere around episode 25ish, I felt my interest in the story starting to wane. Eventually I felt like I was only watching the drama so that I could finish it, not because I was really interested in the story. The pacing slowed down towards the end and a lot of the scenes felt extraneous. IMO DMY started out with substantial chemistry between the leads, but that alone was not enough to carry the whole drama.
Do I recommend DMY? I’d say you should give it a try if you are a fan of the main cast members. Don’t expect this to be the next BBJX or ‘THE’ hit c-drama of the year. If you end up sticking with the drama, I’d say it’s probably best to use ‘strategic watching’ (my method)–just watch the most important scenes and skip over the repetitive ones. For instance, I skipped over almost all of the Qin Xiang (Fala Chen) scenes. T_T” There’s no need to watch Qin Xiang repeat “I want revenge, why don’t you, Xin Yue?” over and over again! >_>
Anyways, I’ve finally reached the end of my review! I know some people may have been expecting longer comments on Wu Ji & Xin Yue’s relationship but, by the time I got to the end of the review I was all tired out! >_< Thanks to all my readers for sticking with me ’til the end and patiently waiting for my reviews. Let me know what you think of the ending! 😉
Note: I watched the uncut version.
Quote translation credit: mJ01991