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Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 4 Review – Best In Show

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Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 4 – Quick Summary

In Raven of the Inner Palace episode 4, “The Skylark Princess,” a skylark came to visit the Raven Consort, Liu Shouxue. But it wasn’t just any skylark. It was the ghost of a skylark, and Jiu-Jiu thought its plight was so sad that she begged Liu to send it to paradise. But things weren’t as simple as they seemed, and the more Liu looked into the situation, the more complex it became. Then she and Jiu-Jiu got into an argument. Can Liu discover the secret of the skylark before she alienates her lady-in-waiting? And what is the emperor making for Liu?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 4

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 4: Liu seemed miffed that the skylark had anything to complain about

Liu is nothing if not blunt. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

My favorite quote came shortly after the episode started. A skylark landed on her window sill, and it trusted her so much it jumped up on her finger. At first I thought, “Wow! Has she been feeding it?”

Because I don’t know about you, but it’s not often a bird just up and jumps on my finger. Okay, it has never happened. 

The bird immediately began chirping at her. Frowning, she brought it closer to her face and said (00:28), “You’re just a bird. What are you so worried about?”

Turns out there was quite a lot it was worried about, but I laughed at the directness of her question.

Best in Show Moment for Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 4

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 4: Liu's apology overwhelmed Jiu-Jiu

Talk about an honest and effective apology! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Common Language Isn’t

So, I want to say I liked something in this episode, but I’m not sure how it’ll come across. So, I hope you don’t mind if I take a second to set the context. I promise I don’t have a hidden agenda. I really just want to express where I’m coming from!

The explosion of tribal affiliations (at least in the United States – I’m not sure how the rest of y’all are doing) has made communications even more difficult. It’s not that we don’t have enough terms. It’s that those terms mean precisely nothing. “Political Correctness,” for example, has so many meanings it has none; at least none that a majority agrees on. So if I were to say I don’t do PC, that could come as a tremendous relief, kick off a rage, or just cast a fog of confusion. 

These two shots will make sense in a second. I promise! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That means I have to burn lots of words to say a little! In this case, I would just say I’m not PC to set the tone, but, well, we see that won’t work. So I’ll say this: in my communications, I want to show respect and support for all of your perspectives. Whether I agree with you or not, I don’t want to disparage how or what you think.

So it’s in that spirit I make a simple observation: this episode could have been called The Tale of Two Pouts, because damn it, both Liu and Jiu-Jiu have adorable pouts! Is that “bad” of me to say? Should I not think a pout is adorable? Do some groups find that disrespectful? I hope not, because I’d be lying through my teeth if those two pouts weren’t the highlights of the episode for me.

And we’re not even to my favorite moment yet!

Delivery: The Raw Power of Liu’s Honesty

Liu’s characterization has been spot on. She’s a young woman who had first been terribly mistreated, then placed into a privileged yet isolated position of some authority. She has no earthly idea how to relate to other humans. She’s also disposed to kindness, and she has no desire to hurt the people around her.

That perfectly set up the confrontation with Jiu-Jiu. Jiu-Jiu seems like a socially-adjusted young woman who understands the nuances of her society. So when Liu tried to regift the emperor’s gift, Jiu-Jiu felt insulted on many levels. It took the emperor’s patiently shown examples to help Liu understand what she’d done.

Raven of the Inner Palace Episode 4: Liu didn't seem to know how to start her apology

I could just hear her inner dialogue. “How should I do this? Aw, screw it. Raw emotional dump it is.” Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

My favorite moment is Liu’s apology. She delivered the apology perfect in Raven Consort character. “Jiu-Jiu, I’m sorry about yesterday,” she said (20:06), shocking Jiu-Jiu. “I heard consorts give gifts to their ladies-in-waiting. I simply thought I should give you something, as well.” Almost as an afterthought, she added, “I thought it would make you happy.”

Blunt. To the point. Utterly without thought to saving face. Liu just dumped her honest thoughts into her apology. In doing so, I think she made a life-long friend.

What did you think of the cause of the Skylark Princess’s death? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to share in the comments!

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