The Sins Of A Father
Episode 3 of Kingdom begins 3 years back again as Hak-Joo presents the flower to An Hyun and tells him it can bring the dead back. They conspire together to use the sick people in Sumang and turn them into the undead in a bid to turn the tide of battle. An Hyun tells him he wants no part of this but upon almost being ambushed by one of the undead soldiers at Hak-Joo’s disposal, seeing this monster upfront is enough to change his mind.
Upon seeing the devastation occurring at the hands of this plague however, An Hyun vows to right this wrong in the future. It’s here we return to the present. Chang tells the other soldiers what happened – Seo-Bi brought An Hyun back to life. Thanks to Dr Lee’s notes and a sample of the plant itself, Chang rises up and tells them he’s not after the throne, nor is he trying to deceive any of them, he just wants to stop the people from suffering.
“Now is the time to rise up and do right by this country”, he tells them before asking the soldiers, and Gang-Yung, to join his cause. As they adjourn inside, they discuss their next move and how to save those inside the Citadel.
Watching from afar, Chang and the others fire the cannons in the hope that the people running with the food stores on carriages will make it to the citadel in time. They use the hidden passageway to make it inside and give the people the food they desperately need. For now, this plan appears to be working.
Meanwhile, Seo-Bi watches over the bitten Hak-Joo, convinced that he won’t turn into one of the undead. Beom-Pal asks her to try and save his Uncle, prompting her to use him as a means of trying to find an antidote. As the two talk, she realizes that the Queen may well have been using the plant for herself. Making their way out the room, Moo-Young helps the duo gallop away with Hak-Joo’s body as they go searching for more answers.
In hot pursuit, Young-Shin and Lee Chang hurry after them while the Royal Commandery Officer is arrested following his investigation, leading him to the Queen’s chambers where he bursts in and finds nothing but the wet nurses.
Seo-Bi pleads with Moo-Young to tell the truth around exactly what he’s doing. She mentions the sandalwood and how pregnant women should not be taking it, leading him to realize the Queen may have lost her baby and she’s doing this to the women to seize one of theirs – a son to use and groom to become the new Prince of the land. With her using this child as a weapon and puppet, it could spell certain disaster for the land.
Moo-Young doesn’t get long to think it over though, as he’s ambushed by soldiers who shoot him with a barrage of arrows as Seo-Bi tends to his wounds. Beom-Pal apologises but implores her to go with him before it’s too late, going on to admit that his Uncle commanded that Moo-Young be taken care of.
While Seo-Bi and the others scramble away, Chang catches up and holds Moo-Young in his arms as he tells Chang that something is going on in Naesonjae with the Queen, going on to mention his wife is also pregnant. As he apologises, he passes away in Chang’s arms. Just as he does, Moo-Young’s wife gives birth and it turns out she’s just had a boy. The same boy who’s likely to become Prince unless Chang can stop them.
As the story starts to branch and more of the political drama becomes the central focus, the undead are reduced to background noise this episode in favour of the political power plays. In a way, this is exactly how Game Of Thrones should have perhaps approached its final season, as we see the various pockets of fighters scrambling to try and work together in order to salvage food and resources just to hold on to what little life they have left.
Of course, the big twist here comes from the Queen and with her now seizing Moo-Young’s child for her own, it gives Chang extra incentive to go after her with a vengeance. As we reach the halfway point of this Korean drama, plenty of questions remain hanging over this one as we gear up for an exciting flurry of episodes to follow.