“MR. QUEEN” EPSIODE 19 AND 20 RECAP
In the final two episodes of Mr. Queen, we get every answer to all our questions. The most important answer was for one main question that lingered which was, what will Byeong-In (Na In-Woo) do now that he finds out the truth?
In episode 19 of Mr. Queen, Jang Bong-Hwan (Choi Jin-Hyuk) told him everything about how he randomly woke up in So Yong’s (Shin Hye-Sun) body. Armed with the knowledge that there is still hope for So Yong’s return, Byeong-In defended So Yong/ Bong-Hwan until she was finally able to escape pursuit.
In the end though, Byeong-In was killed because he disobeyed the grand queen dowager’s (Bae Jong-ok) orders which made him the perfect prey for his father’s secret assassin Sal-Soo (Kim Bang-Won). Still, before his death, he granted So Yong/ Bong-Hwan the letter of admission of treason which was needed to incriminate the corrupt court members.
Depressed, So Yong/ Bong-Hwan almost gave up hope until Cheoljong (Kim Jung-Hyun) found her. Their reunion was so sweet. Bong-Hwan was comforted to learn that Court Lady Choi (Cha Chung-Hwa) and Hong Yeon (Chae Seo-Eun) were save. In fact there is a possibility that Bong-Hwan fell in love with Cheoljong since he sincerely missed his presence.
“Without you at the palace, it felt like a blackout,” he said. “Everywhere I turned was dark.” That is such a twist! It’s surprising that Mr. Queen would end up not always teetering on a transgendered story but also, gay love. Also, it was heavily insinuated that they slept together even though So Yong/ Bong-Hwan was very sober.
During their love fest, there were many revelations. One being that Kim Jwa-Geun’s (Kim Tae-Woo) assassin confirmed that Cheoljong was alive. (That dude might be an opioid addict.)
Also, Jo Hwa-Jin (Seol In-A) secretly posted notices around town to alert everyone about that the king was alive. It helped Cheoljong in three ways. First, So Yong’s father found out that his daughter’s disappearance from the palace might be ominous. Second, Hwa-Jin’s efforts also served to alert Royal Chef Man-Bok (Kim In-Kwon) of Court Lady Choi’s plans and the reasoning behind her bold confession earlier on. Third, since Jo Hwa-Jin did it secretly, it led many court members to believe that it was the work of Byeong-In and since he was missing, it created a distraction for a big event: Cheoljong break into the palace with the support of the Donghak peasant revolutionists. With the help of royal chef Man-Bok, they devised a plan to sneak into the palace by using the palace corruption against them. In this case, the answer was in head inspector’s thievery.
But the enemy was also scheming. With knowledge of Cheoljong efforts, grand queen dowager and Kim Jwa-Geun decided to rush the enthronement ceremony and stop entry into the palace at all cost.
Still, they couldn’t stop the plan. After Byeong-In’s burial, So Yong/ Bong-Hwan headed for the palace. Suspecting a resurgence, Jwa-Geun decided to weed out all rats which meant that the jig was up for Physician Park (Ha-Min), the grand queen dowager’s aide. Jwa-Geun discovered that she could hear and killed her.
While all of this was going on, So Yong/ Bong-Hwan and Cheoljong bonded with the rest of their team over a campfire and Cheoljong discussed his vision of a new Joseon. Sweetly, Special Director Hong (Lee Jae-Won), tried to create a distance between himself and Kim Hwan (Yoo Young-Jae) because he felt guilty that he was using him. Hong is so cute.
The last few moments of episode 19 hint on an upcoming change and efforts to thwart it; the queen dowager (Jo Yeon-Hee) had a premonition about an impending doom on the palace just as Jwa-Geun determines to make the enthronement ceremony small to prevent interference. He really did everything he could, even trying to find the Kim’s foreboding letter of admission. But they were out of luck. So Yong/ Bong-Hwan managed to squeeze inside a box of produce that was headed for the palace so if all else failed, the plan was to shoot Cheoljong dead.
Episode 20 of Mr. Queen was filled with suspense and a sense of urgency. Cheoljong fought his way into the palace grounds to stop the enthronement ceremony but when a signal alerted everyone that they were two late. So Yong/ Bong-Hwan assured him that she had another insurance plan.
Luckily, So Yong had pre-emptively sent Kim Hwan to steal the royal seal. Cheoljong also instigated a distraction and threw smoke balls at the guards by the exterior gates and the Donghak crew barged in, knowing that it would draw palace guards away from the ceremonial grounds.
When Cheoljong and So Yong/ Bong-Hwan finally breezed in, they felt so secure, they decided to take a moment to hold hands and boost each other’s confidence. So, assassin Sal-Soo had more than enough time to adjust his viewpoint and aim to shoot Cheoljong’s heart. So Yong/ Bong-Hwan blocked the shot but since they didn’t duck and take cover, Cheoljong was also shot before Special Director Hong and Prince Youngpyeong (Yoo Min-Kyu) stopped Sal-Soo.
So Yong/ Bong-Hwan’s shot was so traumatic, it finally separated the two souls so that Bong-Hwan could wake up. In the meantime, Cheoljong was passed out in his world. Of course, since Bong-Hwan wasn’t aware of how his world had changed, he ran out of hospital, thinking he was still suspected to be a criminal. He ran to a book store to find out what happened, all along, praying for Cheoljong’s health.
With a swift flashback to Cheoljong’s time, we see him passed out on the floor. He was fine because of a bulletproof vest but still badly exhausted from the hit. Kim Jwa-Geun used this momentary weakness to attack him but Cheoljong was able to defeat Kim Jwa-Geun and force him into a life of humiliation, much like what he endured.
So Yong was finally free to exist in her world, only to come back to pain since she was shot. But they’d finally done it. Cheoljong is able to stop the enthronement ceremony as she seeks medical care. Sadly, she was in critical condition and faced death, along with a possible miscarriage but in they end, both mother and child make it.
“It is all over,” says the grand queen dowager. “Who knew the king was truly outstanding?” she asks the air.
But her failures were only starting to yield consequence. Her court aide told her she was banished to the west palace and then So Yong, affirmed the ruling with an admonishment and a warning.
“This is no longer your era,” she tells her, adding “from this day on, everything will change, especially the rules and the etiquettes you made and maintained.” Bae Jong-Ok’s performance was outstanding; her frustration was palpable. Still, her screams did nothing to a steeled So Yong. “The change you have feared the most has already begun,” So Yong cautioned.
Apparently, one of those changes is in So Yong temperament, with the resolution of court problems, she expressed relief with a swearing fest. Then also, the queen dowager was punished for attempting to ruin So Yong’s reputation and for threatening the throne. (Still not sure why she didn’t support the king but whatever.) Next, Cheoljong punished the Kim clan using their letter of confession and made Kim Jwa-Geun walk in shame as people threw spoiled produce and what looks like poo at him. What a world.
Everyone had a taste of happiness. Prince Youngpyeong soothe Jo Hwa-Jin’s company, court lady choi and Chef Man-Bok finally formed a relationship. Even Jang Bong-Hwan’s fate was changed so that he was made a whistle blower instead of a conspirator. And finally, with no interference, So Yong and Cheoljong were able to enjoy their love in peace.
Overall, Mr. Queen was very entertaining; the writing was largely unpredictable, fun, and moving and the acting was very convincing. We learned about the importance of self-confidence, resilience, having the right people in your corner, and in choosing discomfort instead of the status quo if it means that it helps efforts towards the great good. It’s tragic that it took a supernatural soul switch for justice to actually prevail, considering how terrible Cheoljong’s life would have been without Bong-Hwan. He was his saving grace.