This is a white snake looking at the camera used to represent the deception in episode eight of "Mr. Queen".
Photo: Fidias Cervantes

A lot of bomb shells dropped in this episode.

In episode eight of Mr. Queen, conditions are getting dire for King Cheoljong (Kim Jung-Hyun). Although Cheoljong has tried to be as discreet as possible with his insurgence plans, Queen Kim So-Yong’s (Shin Hye-Sun), cousin Byeong-In (Na In-Woo) is on his tale and getting closer to discovering who owns the piece of robe he found. Cheoljong was so stressed about the idea that instead of training cordially with his men, he decided to get out his frustration on them and beat them up. “I have been constantly refraining myself, so I am getting impatient,” he explained.

So it seems that Bong-Hwan (Choi Jin-Hyuk) is starting to pick up on Queen Kim’s memories and skills—enough to be able to play instruments that she played when she was young. Is he slowly becoming her? Since Bong-Hwan is scared about what it means, he decided to become more powerful, yet again by clinging to the Grand Queen Dowager (Bae Jong-Ok).

Now Jo Hwa-Jin (Seol In-A) is slowly becoming more and more jealous as Cheoljong continues to neglect her for So-Yong. In the meantime, the Queen Dowager (Jo Yeon-Hee) is planning another ritual to takeover So-Yong’s soul (or something to that effect).

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Basically, if Cheoljong isn’t able to find evidence of corruption before Byeong-In finds his own evidence, he’s screwed. So, the plan is to use So-Yong’s conditions to find the hidden ledger in the Kim family that details how they’ve been siphoning funds along with other crimes. Interestingly, Cheoljong acts so unusual during his stay at So-Yong’s family home and yet, the father is completely naïve to the situation.

A lot of bomb shells dropped in this episode though. First, when Cheoljong saw a well at So-Yong’s home, he got a panic attack from the flashback to when everything changed in his life: the day his family was murdered. This gives Kim Moon-Geun (Jeon Bae-Su), So-Yong’s father, the opportunity to investigate how much of his memory he has from his childhood. Apparently, due to trauma, he lost much of the details of his past, a fact, which puts Moon-Geun at ease, since otherwise, there would be incriminating evidence against him tying him to the murder of the previous king. Second, apparently Jo Hwa-Jin isn’t even the real Jo Hwa-Jin. She is an imposter who has lived a lie with So-Yong’s knowledge all along.

Anyway, this is beside the point but why does everyone visit So-Yong’s home uninvited? First the consort for Cheoljong, then a cousin who is inappropriately in love with her.

Byeong-In’s intrusion wasn’t welcome for Cheoljong or So-Yong for that matter. His excuse for being there was that they needed the security from the department of justice (even though he showed up quite late but whatever). Still, her other cousin Kim Hwan (Yoo Young-Jae) swept in just in time to lighten the mood after he zealously decided to pursue the Hong Yeon (Chae Seo-Eun), So-Yong’s court maid. Byeong-In on the other hand is increasingly publicly disrespectful of Cheoljong which is ironically making So-Yong feel for him.

To solve this dilemma, they “had it out”. This meant, drinking until their inhibitions were low so that Cheoljong could ask sensitive questions of him. The winner of course was the crowd favourite: Cheoljong.

To close the episode off, a few things happened. The queen dowager enticed another servant to complete a secret task for her, Jo Hwa-Jin went to the lake where So-Yong attempted suicide and was met by the queen dowager, where she was given a gift.

“You are the one who deserves to be with Cheoljong. The Queen title suits you more in every aspect,” she was told, appealing to her ego.

Stupidly, Jo Hwa-Jin accepted the gift although she knew the symbolism and danger behind it. “I feel as though I have been submerged in the lake all my life. Now it’s time for me to come out of the lake,” she reasoned, while looking at the bad omen before her.

In So-Yong’s chamber, someone seems to attempt to kill her (or go for the ledger?) but yet it’s not clear what their intentions are since they could very well be heading towards the missing ledger. Still, Cheoljong comes across them just as they attempt entering a room and battles them. When So-Yong finally wakes up to the commotion, she is so delirious from lack of sleep combined with drinking, she isn’t fully aware of what is happening. Just as this is going on, Byeong-In announces that he will guard the queen himself. Suspicious dude escapes though.

To keep his skills secret, Cheoljong kisses So-Yong just as Byeong-In walks in. Regardless, the assassin has now learned enough about him to report back to his superior which will cause huge problems for him.

This was definitely an interesting episode of Mr. Queen especially since the writers attempt to make up for the missing perspective of Kim So-Yong herself by slowly merging her and Bong-Hwan into one. Perhaps because there was a huge focus on pushing the narrative forward, episode eight is less humor heavy than other episodes but heavy with suspense.

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