The Queen’s Plan
Episode 4 of Kingdom begins with a segment from the past as we see Chang show mercy to Moo-Young in exchange for his loyalty. He tells him that no matter what, Moo-Young is to stay by his side. This brings us back to the freezing wasteland of the forest as Chang, more determined than ever, heads for Hanyang to kill Hak-Joo.
Before they get there however, Seo-Bi makes it to Hanyang and tells Beom-Pal she needs to pay attention to Hak-Joo’s symptoms and try to make sense of what she’s learned so far. Realizing that water may hold the answer, she plunges Hak-Joo into the water as she watches parts of the infection leave his face like parasitic worms, wriggling to the surface.
The bells ring as the Prince is born. Only, as we know, this isn’t actually her baby it’s Moo-Young’s wife’s. However, the Royal Guard gather and drop to their knees as they welcome the new child.
The water seems to have done the trick too, as Hak-Joo rises up from the brink and confronts the guards, telling them they will band together and kill anyone threatening “national security” relating to the Queen. As the guards rush out and grab all the people and soldiers of Mungyeong Saejae, Seo-Bi questions the morality of doing this. Among those being marched is a little girl crying for her Father, who stands out for her red jacket against the stark white dress robes.
Chang takes her aside and shows her Moo-Young’s wife, who’s in serious shock following her baby being taken. Outside the house though, Seo-Bi shows him the flower and what she’s learned so far. The flower itself holds white spots that happen to be eggs and when the worm hatches inside humans, it’s this that turns them into the ravenous undead.
Desperate to learn more about what’s going on, Seo-Bi is granted the position of physician for the Queen. Hak-Joo arrives personally and introduces her to the Royal, who clutches the child closely like a shield. Hak-Joo looks at his daughter and, without taking his eyes off her, forces Seo-Bi to take her pulse. It’s beating normally and this means the baby is not hers. As Hak-Joo berates her, he starts coughing and spluttering, as we jump back in time and learn that she always intended to poison him if he learned too much. As he collapses on the ground and dies, we see how ruthless the Queen is first-hand.
Meanwhile, Chang and Young-Shin walk together and talk about loyalty after taking a break from the relentless onslaught of the undead they’ve been facing. He tells Chang that the country is a mess but they need to instigate change together.
The Queen promotes Beom-Pal to the position of Royal Commandery Officer and tells him he’s in charge of looking after them now. After telling him he sent Seo-Bi away, we cut to the dungeons where we see that she’s been taken captive, blindfolded and thrown in a cell next to a couple of caged undead, leaving her life hanging in the balance.
With big question marks hanging over this one and Hak-Joo being deceived and poisoned in a shocking act, the Queen is finally showing her hand as her dastardly scheme comes to fruition. With the only people in her quarters knowing the truth now imprisoned, it leaves plenty of question marks hanging over the land and quite whether Chang and the others will have the power to overcome her in the future. Only time will tell of course but with two episodes left, it looks likely that this one won’t be wrapped up this season.