Kingdom 2 – 31

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The end is surely in sight now, and maybe in more ways than one.

We’ve reached the endgame stage of the Qin-Wei war now, and whichever side is going to emerge victorious is going to do so in very short order.  There are lots of interesting storylines emerging here (just where the heck are Bi and his 5000 men, anyway?), but one of the most interesting is Lian Po himself.  It seems as if on the Wei side we’re witnessing the difference between a man fighting for pride and a man fighting for his country – with the different priorities that each of those entail.

Without a question it’s getting to the point where Lian Po’s superpowers are a bit silly.  Sweeping aside hundreds of soldiers as if they were pebbles is one thing – he’s got plenty of company in this cast there, not least from Qiang Lei – but destroying the boulder with his spear was the cherry on top for me.  Of course, even after that he rode through Meng Ao’s rain of boulders (most of which were killing his own men) without so much as a second thought or an umbrella.  Lian Po is obviously a badass, but he seems to take recklessness to new heights.  Frankly I’m a bit surprised he’s lasted as long as he has.

Still, as insanely strong as he is I’m getting more and more convinced that Lian Po isn’t going to survive this war.  There’s been a passing-the-torch theme to Kingdom from the beginning and all the more this season, but it’s growing stronger than ever now – and Meng Ao’s speech to Lian Po was the clincher for me.  Of course Meng Ao might not survive either but his death isn’t necessary from a thematic standpoint – it’s Lian Po who’s the last of the legends of his era, an era in which Meng Ao is a bit player.  Perhaps it will be Lian Po’s arrogance than finally does him in – he’s a man that surely can’t ever admit a weakness (least of all to himself) and he’s in his 60’s.  If he keeps assuming he can do the things he did 40 years ago, that body might just betray him.

There’s certainly something to be said for spirit, though.  Meng Ao undeniably showed plenty of it here, standing his ground and calling out his old schoolyard bully.  There was something to his idea that 40 years of simmering rage at his white whale, Lian Po, would make him stronger than a man for whom he’s barely worth fighting.  And Meng Ao surprised Lian Po no doubt, despite being the one to take the blows (we actually got a bit of hand-drawn combat here for a change).  But Lian Po’s pride as one of the Golden Era transcends even Meng Ao’s resentment, I think – he simply can’t accept that he could possibly lose to anyone not among the Six Great Generals of Qin.  And they’re all dead.

What role will the kids play in all this?  It’s Meng Tian who can’t hold himself back and flings himself into the battle after his grandfather takes his second major wound, but Lian Po brushes him aside easily.  Xin is present, and he’s not a stand-on-the-sidelines kind of guy even if he’s badly wounded himself.  I could see him wanting to give Meng Ao his chance for vindication, but it seems clear that the White Elder has fired every gun he has and come up short – there’s nothing holding back Xin from trying to claim his place at the table by taking the biggest head of them all.  If he wants to prove he’s the man to carry Wang Qi’s spear, what better way than to vanquish the last of Wand Qi’s great rivals?

Of course in the larger picture all that may come up moot, which is why it seems to me that Lian Po is more concerned with the trill of battle than with actually winning the war.  Huan Ji has finally surfaced, and as usual in the most dangerous possible place for the enemy – at the hapless Wei puppet supreme commander’s headquarters.  If he takes the head and headquarters attached to it, that seems to effectively end the war – no matter the result of Lian Po’s jousting tournament.  I don’t question Lian Po’s strength, courage, or cunning – but I do question his motives and his judgment.  And those may, in the end, be his downfall and that of the State of Wei.

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4 comments

  1. t

    well the ending is close more than ever, yet multiple scenarios are still remain as possibilities.
    for now, looks like Huan Ji is going to strike as he did before with the old-man general. so he wasn't just invisible on the field..like a bandit he was waiting for the opportunity to strike.

    that aside, let's go back a little. as we've thought from previous episode, the center field will be somehow with Qin's control.
    but in the HQ it has become very interesting, making the close ending become very unpredictable.
    well, Lian Po's power is a bit absurd. conquering a mountain-fortress almost by himself?weird but let it be..but crashing a boulder with just his spear?are you kidding me?badass or not..this was ridiculous.
    then again, after that it was very interesting. currently Lian Po is the strongest man in the field.
    he is on a whole different level. and that is what those boulders and stuff meant to demonstrate.

    Meng Ao is injured, Tian is no match for him. and as for Xin…well he had a tough fight with Lun Hu just an hour ago and he is badly wounded. I don't see them defeat him..in a fair way 😛
    even with grudge and emotions of 40 years..when Lian Po is fired up..you'll need more than water pipe to control the flames.

    once again kingdom provides us a great war-saga, even better the first season.

    p.s
    as for your man Bi..well I don't know if he still has 5000 soldiers. I mean..when they escaped from Lian Po and all back there, it was complete chaos. and it'll be too weird if there were 5000 men in the field right now without being seen or getting attention.that's why I don't think we are talking about all 5000 men. and it was implied that they were kinda lost, so it's interesting..where is his current position and what's he gonna do

  2. That cut-in scene with Bi specifically said he'd gathered 5000 men to his group.

  3. e

    It would be such a waste for the Bi force not to be engaged in some substancial way and so close to the big players. But really he'd better doing something soon ^_^" .

  4. S

    I suppose when you haven't seen the actual source, you might find this adaptation not lacking.

    http://www.batoto.net/read/_/198969/kingdom_v22_ch236_by_turnip-farmers/4

    But otherwise? So very, very unimpressive.

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