Ending Recap: Princess Agents

Princess Agents Final Episode
Princess Agents 楚乔传 just had the mother of all cop-out endings. I don’t know what’s worse, that such a promising show fizzled out in the least satisfying way or that the showrunners drowned any hope of a happy ending into an icy cold lake. Pushing the airtime back an hour also had its drawbacks as the last three episodes fell below 2.0% with the series finale earning only 1.8%. Really though, it might as well have been due to the fact that no one liked the ending, and I know I’m generalizing here but who isn’t a little angry at this point. Warning: Spoilers ahead. 

Princess Agents Final Episode



Episode 58 (Uncut Version) begins with the calm before the storm. After running into each other and catching up over hotpot, Chu Qiao (Zhao Li Ying) warns Yuwen Yue (Lin Gengxin) that they are bound to face each other in battle and that he shouldn’t look out for her when the time comes.  
Princess Agents Final Episode
He asks whether she would chop off his head, to which she responds that she wouldn’t kill him, but that she would think of ways to defeat him. Yuwen Yue muses, “Is that so, but I can’t do that.” (aww, go back to him already!)
Princess Agents Final Episode Princess Agents Final Episode

Cheng Yuan (Hu Chun Yong) learns about the little run-in through his spies and reports it to Yan Xun (Shawn Dou). They also get information that the 7th Prince (Jin Jia) is heading their way with an entire army and Cheng Yuan stirs trouble for the nth time by implying that Chu Qiao may have switched sides. Yan Xun shoots down the idea immediately, but green-lights the plan to kill Yuwen Yue. 

Princess Agents Final Episode

The 13th Prince (Niu Jun Feng) blocks his brother from waging war on the basis of a letter from Yuwen Yue that might not even be real. We would have known from the previous episode that the 7th Prince already knew it was fake but was manipulated by his advisor to forge ahead anyway. 

Princess Agents Final Episode
The 13th Prince recounts how their father was the one who started it all and that the people cannot withstand another war. He offers up his life to appease his brother’s lust for blood and it works for the time being. The 7th Prince sets up camp elsewhere though the 13th Prince knows that his brother wouldn’t think twice to attack if Yuwen Yue doesn’t come back alive. 
Princess Agents Final Episode

 

Yan Xun fails to kill Yuwen Yue on his first try and watches as they escape into the forest. Cheng Yuan secretly devises a twofold plan to lure them out which involves using Chu Qiao as bait. He sends men to arrest her and the Xiuli Army on charges of conniving with the enemy and sends one man to relay the message to Yuwen Yue. 
Princess Agents Final Episode

 

The man tries to pass himself off as one of Chu Qiao’s men who urges Yuwen Yue to escape. He also ‘unintentionally’ lets on that Chu Qiao may be in danger before killing himself for having said too much. 
Princess Agents Final Episode

 

Yuwen Yue and company find the story hard to believe as Yueqi (Xing Zhao Lin) deduces that there is an 8/9 out of 10 chance that the man is lying. Yuwen Yue agrees but he can’t ignore the chance that the man may be telling the truth and says that he has to see her to make sure that she is safe. (ya, he’s definitely going to die now)
Princess Agents Final Episode

 

En route to answer the summons of Yan Xun, Chu Qiao turns grim when it dawns on her that she’s being played for a fool because the target all along is not her but Yuwen Yue. She sends her men on their way and rides alone to confront Yan Xun. 
Princess Agents Final Episode

 

“Where is Yuwen Yue?,” demands Chu Qiao. “He’s been shot by me,” says Yan Xun. Yan Xun justifies his actions by saying that there is nothing wrong with killing an enemy who has trespassed into his borders and adds, “Ah Chu, in your heart, the entire Yanbei and I cannot compare to Yuwen Yue.” 
Princess Agents Final Episode

 

Chu Qiao argues that Yan Xun can kill Yuwen Yue in battle, but not in this way, not by using her and taking advantage of his feelings for her. Yan Xun counters that everything he has been doing was for her, but she calls him out on all the times that he has ‘protected’ her – killing her comrades, forcing her to abandon her beliefs, doubting her, using her and spying on her. 
 
She doesn’t know whether her feelings for him are love, but he was the most important person to her, and yet she’s having doubts as to whether or not it was worth it and whether she really saw him for who he was. Now, he’s got his wish because she is going over to Yuwen Yue and for the last time she warns, “if Yuwen Yue dies in Yanbei, I will never forgive you.”
Princess Agents Final Episode
Outnumbered and alone, the last twenty minutes of the episode brings the focus back to Yuwen Yue as he fights a losing battle. Chu Qiao is the most badass that she’s ever been as she avenges Yueqi’s death by dealing a skull-crushing blow (is this Game of Thrones?) to Cheng Yuan and stabbing him in the heart for good measure. Xiao He and the Xiuli Army stave off the attackers to allow Chu Qiao to go ahead and save Yuwen Yue.
 
Princess Agents Final Episode Princess Agents Final Episode
Princess Agents Final Episode
She eventually makes it to his side just after Yan Xun shoots another arrow that goes straight through him. Yuwen Yue repeatedly tells her to go but she refuses and cries, “Sorry, I will never leave you again. Hold on, you have to keep holding on. Hold on.”
 
Princess Agents Final Episode
From a distance, Yan Xun does his whole monologue about how he has never changed. Chu Qiao just never knew what it is that he wanted and he is about to show her now. He sends more men in which breaks the ice and causes Yuwen Yue to plunge into the water. Chu Qiao dives after him, but he pushes her away and urges her to live on. 
 
The waters engulf her and seems to awaken something within her as her flower tattoo reveals itself. At the same time, she opens her eyes. 
 
Princess Agents Final Episode Princess Agents Final Episode
Final Impressions: So we get an ending that barely does anything for the plot. Chu Qiao still isn’t freeing any slaves and worse, Yuwen Yue dies. Yan Xun trudges the same path of destruction that he’s been on ever since his family’s brutal massacre while side characters come and go with absolutely no follow through. 
 
I never caught the name of the man who has become the advisor of the 7th Prince, but he’s the big bad that no one even knows about despite it being the last episode. Xiao Ce simply faded along with the potentially intriguing Liang Kingdom storyline, and it’s also weird that Xiaoqi and Xiaoba dropped off the map without explanation, not that I miss them. Xiao Yu managed to keep her story going, but that went loopy when the show tacked on a one-sided love with Yuwen Yue that felt so out of the blue. 
 
I suppose the only consolation is that Chu Qiao finally leaves Yan Xun though I’m still peeved that she actually thinks that it is okay for Yan Xun to kill Yuwen Yue as long as he does so honorably. I get that the show never intended to tell the entire story from start to finish, but I have a hard time seeing the point of killing Yuwen Yue while setting up the stage for a possible sequel. Is he dead in the novels too or is it one mean joke? 
 
I’m sorry about ranting for so long, but I can’t truly diss a show that was ultimately my new crack for the past month. I would have recommended it to anyone in a heartbeat because it was so unique and unflinching. I still blame whoever it is that decided to bring together an A-team only to waste their talents on a half-baked story with filler episodes in between, but props to the cast and crew for making the epic moments stand out and the crappy ones more bearable. In the meantime, I might just watch The Eternal Love to get over the trauma of Yueqi being killed by Cheng Yuan. 
 
 
 

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