The World Is Still Beautiful Episode 4 Recap – “Ring Of Tales”
We open with some bad news for Nike and Livius, as the Ministry of the Priesthood has cancelled the engagement. Their official reason is that Nike is from a foreign ethnic group, but Livius says it’s just because they don’t like the King personally. The only way that the Ministry will relent is if she undergoes the “Rite of Illumination”, an underground ceremony that honors the Sun God. Both Livius and Neil try to stop her from going through with it. First, accepting their terms would be telling them that they are right in their assumptions. Second, if she wants to fight against those that hate the king then there’s a long list awaiting her. Livius concludes the meeting by laying down the ultimatum “shut up and let me protect you.” This was written by a woman people. I still can’t believe it. Stunts like these are what make this show so low on my list for this season.
And then stuff like what happens next are what keeps me from chucking the show altogether. Nike doesn’t like being protected, or being a burden, so she disobeys Livius and goes to the temple under the guise of a servant. Once inside, she spies a woman about to be struck by a priest for spilling something on his robes, and jumps in to stop him – blowing her cover almost immediately. It’s almost like she didn’t even need to disguise herself. ~_~ Enraged, the priest is about to strike Nike instead, but the leader of the Ministry, Rani Aristes, breaks up the commotion.
Aristes bluntly tells her that rain and clouds are ill omens, omens that they don’t need here – just like the king and his peasant mother. His mother Sheila was a concubine of the previous King, and therefore Livius, in the Priesthood’s eyes should never have been born. Even though this angers Nike, she will lose her position as Princess if she hits a Priest. (Commentary?) Instead, the woman she saved takes her to an orphanage where she meets children of different ethnic classes, just like her and the King. One little girl tells her that Livius visits them sometimes, and often speaks to them about Nike and the various things that remind him of her. In return Nike wants to “be worthy” of those feelings. ARGH this show is so conflicting! I can’t help but feel she is so strictly regulated to being “the loving wife” in scenes like these.
Back at the Palace, she gives Livius her decision; she is going through with the Rite of Illumination. Relenting, the King gives her his mothers ring, and tells her to wear it around her neck until she is underground.
The rules of the ceremony are that she must find the Sun God’s ring (how much you want to be it’s the ring the King just gave her?) inside the underground temple and then escape all by herself. Livius and Neil wish her well, and Aristes smirks before she enters the tunnel and the doors close behind her. Inside the cave system, she finds that the air is stagnant and heavy, so she can’t use the wind if she needs to. Thus eeny meeny miny mo is the chosen method to find her way out. After some fumbling about, she finds the Sun Temple and Sun God statue pretty easily. It’s like, maybe 2 minutes of running time?
We’re thrown for a plot twist though, as the ring is not in the statue! (Yup, it’s got to be the ring that Livius gave to her). She is suddenly surrounded by masked men, and the leader draws his sword…. (he looks suspiciously like a certain fashion designer we met earlier in the episode). Also, don’t watch the next episode preview >_<. It totally ruins any suspense you might have had.
It’s safe the say the only reason I’ve been sticking around is Nike’s character. Even so, she can be a negative stand out at times. The plot doesn’t even try to conceal it’s secrets, most of which you can easily guess at. Characters besides Nike are pretty bland and one-note, especially the child king Livius. Meh, see you next week.