After a slight break from the last episode, we return to The Crowned Clown right where we left off before. So Woon and Ha Sun share a tender moment under the tranquil bliss of snowfall as their feelings for each other deepen. This all comes to a head during the climactic finale where things come undone and leave the door wide open for the final episodes ahead.
After this slow-paced opening scene, Ha Sun returns to court where the Royal Secretary warns against the Clown King getting too attached to the Queen. As far as she’s concerned, he’s simply a shadow of the man she originally fell in love with. Stubborn in his approach, Ha Sun decides to tell So Woon the truth but when that opportunity arises as they meet again, he can’t bring himself to tell her and instead feigns fatigue upon being faced with drinking a ginger tea.
Back at court, things take a tumultuous turn for the worst as the beginning stages of the Dae Dong Policy is put into place. With a lot of logistical planning and evaluations still to be made, the King’s choice for low-born Joo Ho-Geol to take this position is met with outrage and disbelief from those in court.
Seizing his opportunity to strike, the Left State Minister rallies a mass group of scholars together to block Joo Ho-Geol’s entry to court the following day. The King confronts the scholars over their act of defiance and, in an act of selfless bravery himself, literally steps over the backs of these kneeled men to bring the low-born into court.
This raises its own particular set of problems but does allow So Woon to see the King in a completely different light. Unfortunately, these feelings are squandered as she sifts through her paperwork and stumbles upon a startling discovery. As she begins to piece together the issues surrounding Ha Sun and the Clown King’s sudden change in personality, she confronts Ha Sun about this as the episode closes.
While there isn’t all that much plot development this episode, it’s all about So Woon and Ha Sun, spelling a particular problem going forward for those who have managed to keep the King’s identity a secret up until this point. Once again, this episode sees an exquisite use of colour and scene composition throughout, accompanied by a perfect soundtrack.
There’s 6 episodes to go here now and it’s anyone’s guess how this one will turn out. Whether The Crowned Clown can keep up this level of dramatic tension through to the end of the season remains to be seen but based on what we’ve seen thus far, this Korean drama looks set to be a tough drama to beat this year.