Bloodshed In The Palace
Episode 5 of Kingdom begins at the Scholarly Institute with Chang asking the group if they can continue fighting, knowing what is to come before them. While they do, the executions continue in Hanyang at the Queen’s command. Gang-Yung arrives at the court though and spills the truth about what Chang is doing and how he’s a traitor, currently held up at the Military Academy.
As the Royal Guard arrive and fire a barrage of arrows at the building, they find the place completely empty. Suddenly realizing it was a trap to lure the soldiers out of the city, we cut to Chang who marches up to the gates of Hanyang and with his guards they make their way inside, shutting the doors behind them.
Meanwhile, Beom-Pal reads out the execution report but upon seeing the crying faces before him, stops the guards and deliberates on this command. As Chang approaches, Beom-Pal tells him the Royal Commandery is by his side. With the guards now defected and at Chang’s command, the rightful heir to the throne leads the group up to the Palace.
The ministers drop to their knees and beg for forgiveness as Chang ignores their words and instead heads up to greet the Queen herself, who sits on the throne with her child. She refuses to leave and challenges him to kill her instead.
In the dungeon, Seo-Bi continues to try and break free from her restraints. She eventually does manage this but upon escaping her cell, the undead rise and begin chasing after the guards in the palace.
As all hell begins to break loose, Chang looks at the Queen in shock as she plays her hand – it was she who released the undead and allowed Hanyang to fall. Seo-Bi marches up the steps and tells them the plague has arrived and they need to leave now.
Chang gives the order and rallies the ministers to his side to try and thwart the infection before it consumes the entire palace. Fighting inevitably breaks out as several well-shot fight sequences take place, including one outside the gates of the temple.
The undead continue to attack and after destroying the wave of attackers, and with no screams left, the group breathe a sigh of relief as they suspect they’ve kept the infection in check. Only, the truth is far more horrifying. The numbers are overwhelming and the sea of dead bodies charge at them; too many for this thin group of survivors to overcome.
They run through the palace as an overhead shot shows the sheer number coming up to the gates they’ve managed to hold shut for now. As the sun begins to set, the group are trapped with seemingly no way out.
With a big cliffhanger ending, the well shot fighting is ultimately what makes this episode so effective. The overhead shot showing the undead against the door is a really powerful juxtaposition to show just how hopeless this fight really is, while the ominous score and way the camera smoothly moves around the courtyard during the fighting makes this a really engaging episode. All hell threatens to break loose in the finale next and that is certainly shaping up to be one heck of an episode!