I keep thinking about the final act of this show. People are blaming the writing for the lag in the last third, but I'd instead put the blame on Wu Hao Chen as Yuan Qi. I don't think he's a bad actor per se and I can't point my finger to any moment where he didn't say a line right or have the right look, but the entire performance felt soulless. He never showed the vulnerability necessary in a truly tragic character.  So when the focus shifts to Yuan Qi at the end, he is unable to carry the show like Liu Hao Ran had. Liu Hao Ran had his moments where you could tell he is still a little green, but he brought such heart and charisma into the role of PingJing that it didn't matter. Had a different actor played Yuan Qi the ending would have been a lot more interesting to watch.

I understand what you are saying here...

I am also little lost here... I am on episode 40.. but i cant pinpoint what is missing in this drama.. when i watched NIF1 , there were so many ah moments...something is lacking in NIF2 though..

Till now i  have not seen a single villain character which is worthy enough of changlin name..changlin people are true heroes,basically saints , without any negative points..  the villains  do the bad things to them out of jealousy,(not ambition , not revenge)..just pure jealousy... that does not make sense to me...I think madman priest arch didnt have a proper closure..i still do not understand why he hated changlin so much , to cause a epidemic in the city...

the empress xun and prime minister , they did bad things to changlin out of jealousy..

I wish there was a villian worthy enough  with a proper reason , so the fight would be interesting..

I am not saying it is not a good drama , amazing  cinematography , superb performance by actors..Just the fight between good and bad was not interesting enough...

I also found that the priest's death was a bit anticlimactic also YuanQi shifted to benevolence at his death is kinda well not really the ending I was looking for in such character. It helped the plot yes but it came out as bland.