Sensational Semi-Final Week
Episode 22 of historical fanfare, Jackpot was one of the most satisfying of the series. You almost feel the finale episodes will seem more like a bonus, and a welcome one at that. Time to gear up for a rousing finish, or what do you think?
Now here’s an episode where we see a whole lot of gambling, just not in the way we’ve been accustomed to in this drama.
Instead of using cards and coins, this time the opposing players raise the stakes to a matter of life and death. For the rivals in the drama Daebak (Jackpot), it’s always been about the ‘people’ – but the lines are getting blurred and we wonder just who is fighting for what.
Enemy of State
We’ve probably lost track of In Jwa, the villain’s motives or what he even stands for, but we’re no doubt entertained as we watch his blind march into yet another doomed rebellion.
Lee In-Jwa takes the crown when it comes to dastardly deeds in the name of his self-righteous crusade. His despicable schemes have cost countless of lives over the run of decades since we were first introduced to his character.
Now, he’s back for the final act of his grandiose uprising and you only wonder, what will it really take to bring an end to him once and for all?
Thankfully, the answer lies in the one person who’s constantly been able to best him: our hero Baek Dae Gil.
I’ve never seen foes who seem so much alike as these two.
Both Baek Dae-gil and Lee In-jwa are able to win the support and trust of others, and both men have a sharp intelligence that looks beyond the surface. Yet while Dae-Gil is is always one step ahead, In-jwa rarely ever sees him coming.
A Race to the Finish
It’s one week left to go, and episode 22 gave a dose of fast-paced action we missed from the very first few episodes. One king dies and another takes his place – and one Prince chooses the simple life among his comrades and commoners. That is, until he is called upon again to save the day, and save the nation.
Can a war really be won without the use of an army, or shedding the blood of the innocent masses? Well, fast-thinking Dae-Gil is about to show them how its done!
Greed, Vengeance, Justice
It’s been faction against faction, rich vs. poor and brother ousting brother all through the drama, and episode 22 embodies all that. Yeoning, now King Yeongjo, is under suspicion of poisoning his older brother the former king, to claim the throne.
We’d like to believe he’s innocent, but a lot has changed since his impetuous days as a prince of courage and devotion.
He had to witness his loyal supporters killed for no just reason, and he’d faced ridicule for most of his life thanks to his mother’s lowly background. In this episode, we see a glimmer of the man he used to be, as he invites his brother Dae-gil to help him bring down the tyrant Lee In Jwa.
Of course, though he trusts in Dae-Gil to do the needed legwork, King Yeongjo is not going to just sit around waiting for his big bro to come through as promised.
To face what may befall, the guarded king starts to make his own preparations. We hope they’ll prove unnecessary – but then we’ll have to wait till next week to find out!
A Must-see Finale to come
Needless to say, the final week’s next episodes 23 and 24 are not to be missed. Somehow, you get a niggling feeling that In Jwa will find yet another way to slip through the net. Will he be able to make a final stand (yet again), even with the odds so much against him?
His best laid plans are crumbling at his feet even now. Seriously, In Jwa makes this too easy for Baek Dae-gil! But who’s to say what unseen twist will bring In Jwa out of the jaws of looming failure?
Nothing will surprise me at this point. Lee In Jwa has been spared execution twice or more. It’ll probably feel irrelevant to actually see him die for his crimes, because that would be little satisfaction in itself.
Oh, but to see him crawl, cower and grovel in chains till he is grey and stooping might appease a little of the angst he made us endure for the last 22 episodes.
It will be sad to see the last of some of my favorite characters next week. Happily, I never felt tempted to give up on Jackpot and so far, it’s totally been worth it.
If you still need to get caught up with this drama, then you’re not too late! It’s a commitment of oooh, some 22 hours before next week’s finale – but chances are you’ll find it just as enjoyable and rewarding as I did.
Our hero Dae-Gil never got a real shot at romance, which is the only setback for me – but just a minor one. Maybe his heart is just too big and too encompassing to be claimed by one person, and he’ll probably just devote himself to his calling as the “common man’s king”. If that way he can find lasting fulfillment and happiness, then it’s good enough for me!