Sound of the Desert (Da Mo Yao): Eps 28-35 Final Review

Chinese DramasDrama Reviews

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!

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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*

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“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”

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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.

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^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!

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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?!?!

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^My favorite screenshot of Wu Ji & Xin Yue!

Overall

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

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heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • I still need to finish the drama, although I did read the translated novel online, so I pretty much know what is going to happen, and yes, that really is how the book ends. I suppose that we should be happy they got their happy ending. I recall Mo Xun’s exit and his final regret and doing something with a sign so, in a way, he’ll always be remembered (as if Xin Yue and Wu Ji could forget anyways), but his regret comes from knowing that memory will only bring pain.

    LSS did well, but since it was during the time of BBJX there are lots of Ru Xi-like moments in ways and though she acts well enough, you’re right that she didn’t fully embody the character and become her. Eddie Peng…total awesomeness! I already knew he was a good actor from his movie with Ivy Chen, but this upped the notch of just how great he was. Even without speaking he was truly in the zone. You never felt that it was Eddie Peng playing Wu Ji, he WAS Wu Ji 100%.

    I think I’ll finish up Cruel Romance and Good Morning, Shanghai and come back to this drama. I also need to finish up my Liar Game comparisons. The Korean drama diverged so much from the original plot of the manga and Japanese drama.

    I’ve loved watching this with you even though we both fell quite behind and I haven’t finished this yet. I still have 16 episodes to go! Can’t wait for our next drama experience.

    • I’d like to assume that MX is somewhere in the desert, helping people in need with his medical skills. Hm I felt like LSS didn’t have as much screen presence in comparison to Hu Ge & Eddie Peng. Oo yeah I’m looking forward to your next reviews for those c-dramas + Liar Game kdrama version. Yup it’s been a while since we last watched the same drama. Fun fun!

  • I’m part of a Facebook discussion group that includes this drama and we’ve taken to calling Mo Xun Flute Boy because so many are peeved at him. As for the rest of the series, I must confess, I dislike all the episodes that mainly stress her involvement in Palace politics – because it was all so futile. No revenge takers had any clear plans. Just what was Qin Xiang’s revenge? To make the Emperor love her so she can take over with her son? Mo Xun’s revenge? To live well and under the radar? I know somehow the desert tribes were involved but . . . I am going to read the translated work next to see how these revenge plots were really supposed to happen.My favorite parts were where when she was using her brain and taking over the business world.

    • Same here, I thought the political/palace parts of the story were boring. Qin Xiang was also a confusing character. T_T”

    • At irst, I thought Qin Xiang’s revenge was towards the King but later I found out it was more towards the Wan’s family. I don’t think Mo Xun have any revenge ideas, more like his duties towards his family. He wanted to keep peace among the two countries. As he have bloodlines from both sides? He has a lot of powers through his networking between the two countries, despite his family’s business seemed to be lessened a lot through the years. He tried to keep under the radar because he doesn’t want to King to know his real actions and motives. So he can be viewed as WEAK and no threat towards those in powers in the royal families and the King. Since he used his money to do a lot charities and good will for the poor and sick and also rest who were affected by the wars, so his family’s business have been affected. His plans and motives are to keep peace, prevent both sides from doing more harm towards the peasants. Though he couldn’t fully made it happened, but he did a lot to help those people affected by the wars.

  • I wish they film like what happen to the Wan Ang and the Wan family after the emperor investigated the death of Wuji. Need to see some justice done to them! Super love Wuji btw, hahaha.

    • I thought it was because he was testing one of the versions of the antidote which led to him getting irreversible organ damage. Perhaps by the time they got the real antidote, it was too late to use on him to reverse the effects.

  • I am watching this with a friend and we are only at ep 21. I found your blog because I wanted to know if we get a happy ending!
    I am new to C Dramas, an avid K Drama since 2007 and ventured into C Dramas because my friend pushed me to watch Cruel Romance XD which is 3 months ago, LOL

    What can I say but agree with you, first time seeing Eddie Peng, took a while but I fell for WuJi !
    Mo Xun’s character – I think Hu Ge did a good job except we hated his noble idiocy of ” I can’t give you a happy family” crap
    Love LSS, I think she’s one of the better actresses that I have seen

    Will be stopping by more often to your blog now that I’m hooked on C Dramas especially wuxia my favourite

  • I finally finished it! Yay, and I must say, for me this is the best C Drama I’ve watched ( which is not many since I just started 🙂 )
    Frankly, LSS is one of my favourite actress right now and I can’t wait to watch Xuan Yuan Sword, its LSS and Hu Ge!
    I would recommend this drama, the romance is too good and the two gus, where can you find two guys who loves one girl but does not get evil or turn bad??

    Thanks to Da Mo Yao, I discovered Eddie who did a superb job as Wei Wu Ji 🙂

    Next drama attempt is Lan Ling Wang and yes, hesui, I read your first review on it already XD

    • I’m glad that you enjoyed it! Yes, a lot of people enjoy the LSS x Hu Ge pairing in dramas. Well in Lan Ling Wang both guys love the heroine and I guess they don’t go bad.

  • From the start, I dislike the Wei Wu Ji’s character. He’s too pushy and arrogant. Though his love for her is indeed very strong and supportive. Though, I can’t say he will do all Mo Xun (JY)’s actions for Xin Yue. I felt his actions was like he wanted to have her as her own, and didn’t really think about Xin Yue’s wishes or happiness. But Mo Xun on the other hand, thinks of her first before his own’s happiness. So my favourite character is him. His scenes made me cried a lot. Too bad, he missed his chance with her! Yes, with that, he had to pay to lose her to Wu Ji.

    • Well, both Wu Ji & Mo Xun have their good and bad points. Wu Ji can come off as arrogant at times, but he is not power-hungry and he’s well aware of his limits. Mo Xun is extremely frustrating with his noble idiocy, but he will sacrifice everything for Xin Yue. It’s hard to say who’s the absolute best for Xin Yue, in the end, it’s her choice!

  • Can someone let me know where I can find English translation of the book? LOVE this series and super happy to find translated/dubbed version.

  • Hi!! I found your blog because in the middle of the trama I wanted to know if ended good or bad. 🙂 Agghrr I’m tired to watch series that have a sad ending. I think in the reality we live a lot of suffering so I like that dramas have a good ending. 🙂 I started to watch K Drama and lately I’m watching C Drama. I loved this drama a lot. Specially, the part of romance between Wei Wu Ji and Xin Yue. Maybe because of my culture, we’re passionate here, for me is a bit frustating watching K/C Dramas when it suppose have romance, and I see a little of that. It is not that I seek people making love or showing bodies, no, but I like to see scenes like in this drama where you see how the protagonists care for each other, they hugg, they kiss, when he took her in his arms, and etc…Even, we can note in their face expressions and eyes they love each other. This is what I was looking since LONG ago..:) and I could find FINALLY in Sound of the Dessert. I liked the character of the female protagonist is very different from others dramas, she knew how to fight, helped Wei Wu Ji giving advice in his battles, was someone that searched for knowledge, she was strong and at the same time liked to play like a little girl and have fun, was loyal to her friends. Yah Wei Wu Ji was arrogant and cold in certain scenes, but for his position I think he had to be like that. Anyway I loved that with her was different and that have eyes only for Xin Yue. I compared this with K Drama, Faith, where I liked the plot but the romance there was totally different. 🙁 🙁 🙁 The plot in this story was good, had me interested mostly but I’m not sure if was outstanding. Can you recommend an outstanding drama that have action and romance like this one ? 🙂

    • Hi, I’m happy you enjoyed Da Mo Yao! Actually I think this period c-drama had the most ‘skinship’/physical affection out of all the period c-dramas I’ve seen. So it may be hard to find a comparable c-drama. >_<

    • Hi Anna, I strongly highly recommend Nirvana in Fire. It is the best drama ever. Albeit there is not a lot of romance and the first two episodes are a little heavy because they need to introduce many characters ( I needed to find a relationship map online to figure how the characters are related to one other) , It is all well worth it.

      A warning though; like several youtubers commented; after watching finish Nirvana in Fire, we are unable to watch/like any other show. It’s like Nirvana in Fire is such an outstanding drama that all other dramas really pale in comparison.

  • I might be SUPER DUPER late but I just finished the drama during the weekend while reading your recaps for each episode.. At first, I was surprise because I thought you would make the recap like the one in BBJX 🙂 But, after watching the drama until the end, I understand why you make it this way… Thanks for the recap… It made me enjoy the drama even more and I have something to come back when I miss Da Mo Yao…

    I have been back and forth about whether or not to watch this drama. Because before Nirvana in Fire and The Disguiser, I wasn’t a big fan of Hu Ge.. I have seen him in Legend of the condor heroes with Ariel Lin and didn’t “really” like his act back then.. For me, he was only “average”.. But NOW…. He’s my one TRUE absolute FAVORITE and I will stalk his every drama from now on..

    As for Da Ma Yao, I am more with Team Mo Xun… It was heart breaking not seeing them together at the end.. Although I already had a hunch that LSS will be with Eddie Peng (I don’t want to write their characters because I am still sad for Mo Xun), I still have my every little hope that at least Mo Xun will get Xin Yue back… But, I think.. once missed, will always be missed… (^___^ tearyyyyy)…

    But, for this drama I have ONE big complaint to the production house… It’s about the music / instrumental background.. Why they have to use the same music for every production.. You name it.. The Legend of Condor Heroes, Bu Bu Jing Xin, Da Ma Yao, Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei… Why?? I can get it if they use the same music for 2 dramas (for the purpose of squeezing the budget).. But, if they are use for EVERY drama, it’s kinda annoying… I can’t even sympathize / concentrate with the some of the scenes because when I hear the music background, my mind automatically remembered BBJX / Legend of the Condor Heroes..

    I don’t think it’s that hard for the production house to find someone to make the music background for Chinese periodic drama.. It is really easy to find and not very costly… I even can help them to find / propose some names if they need one.. Uggghh.. This is killing me… If only the music was good, the sensitive viewers like me would have immersed to the drama even more..

    Moreover, about the “faked deaths ‘plot twist’”, I think it’s normal to happen this way if the Author wants to have a happy ending. After all, in historical background, General Huo Qi Bing died when he was 26 due to unknown disease.. So, there’s really no other way :p

    Thanks once again for the recap Heisui!!!

  • The actual Huo Qubing died of illness in his twenties, so faking death is really the best way to have a happy ending and yet be consistent with historical records.

  • Well I think the emperor did commite a great sin against Wu Ji! I am still in process of learning about Chinese history and anscient times, but my impression is that kings and emperors in the past really apreciated their generals more than what is showed in this drama. In this case Empress who was actually once the Emperor´s favorite one, is Wu Ji´s aunt. That´s why I dont understand why he didn´t let him marry the woman he wanted. I understand everything about the status and all, but I think the Emeperor could have made an exception.

    Also I read in the book of Sun Tsu “The Art of War”, Sun Tsu´s thoughts about discipline in the army, condititons of both your own army and enemy´s army, and how soldiers or Officers should be motivated by being rewarded for their success or being properly punished for betrayal etc. If we take in account that Wu Ji was a great general and probably has never lost even one battle, I think that he did deserve a reward for his success and loyalty to the Emperor. They even mentioned the book of Sun Tsu in this drama but it seams nobody read it! Haha… (Except maybe Wu Ji and our heroine lol)

    I mean Hello!!! What in the World the Emperor was thinking?! Wu Ji won battles for him and served him well, why in the World he didn’t aprove this marriage? He knew this was the only way to stimulate Wu Ji and keep him by his side (as we had opportunity to see how Emperor apreaciated Wu Ji and thought of him being his “right hand” when Wu Ji supposedly “died”). Did he have to wait Wu Ji to “die” in order to give him one and only thing he wanted, and by the way the thing he deserved to have and thats the woman he loved?

    Thats why this ending was a bit off and kind of artificially made. I would be more happy if the Emperor actually did aprove himself the marriage and showed us that he do care about his generals and loyal servants. I was really really disappointed in Emperor. Maybe I am a bit rough on words but thats what I think. I would like to know if there are other sharing the same opinion? 🙂

  • So, I finally finished DMY last night. I’ve only watched this one and BBJX before — I am new to Cdramas since I usually only watch Kdramas. I think I liked BBJX overall better — better acting, plotting, pacing, production, etc. But DMY has the stronger romance and more addicting, and Wei Wuji is probably the most attractive Asian drama male lead I’ve seen so far, in terms of character and personality. I think MX also redeemed himself in the second half, when he finally let go of XY and just loved her sacrificially from afar. Their love triangle only really hit me after MX lost her, when it was just too late.

    DMY’s plot was all over the place. The Qin Xiang character made no sense. And lots of bad CGI too. 🙁 I wish the last episode tied up some loose threads, such as the emperor finding out that Wan Ang is the one behind WWJ’s death and he is punished. It felt really lame that there was no justice there. I think the best part of the drama is really the WWJ and XY scenes — I really only watched for them, and now I’m an Eddie Peng fan!

  • I think this drama frustrated me. I finally finished it this year in 2017. I’ll probably have to spoil a few points since this drama is not that new anymore. At the beginning I can see how hard LSS try to convince us that she grew up with wolves and do not know how to live like humans. She didn’t even know how to use money. But then she suddenly jumped into a smart political person, why is she that good at socializing with people and know more history or knowledge than people who actually grew up among people? Just when that part was not satisfied yet, I was hoping for a good explanation, but the story jumped to that, she did lived with humans before! In that case, she obviously know how to use chopstick, use money, have earrings on, etc. Why show us those scenes at the beginnings that made us feel like she knew nothing about society? It became illogical after that point on, I didn’t bother about the storyline after that. LSS and HG love story was disappointing, I don’t see how they fall for each other. But Eddie has very good chemistry with LSS here so that was the only thing worth watching.

  • I am late to the party.. This was a great drama. The romance between WJW and XJ made me have goosebumps. Can my man be that amazing, romantic and committed? Lol.

    Great series. I’d watch it again. I wish the costumes and hair wasn’t so blah.

    I also thought Fala And Cecilia were sisters because they have the same facial structure when they smile.

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