After a few episodes of sweeping political drama and world-building, King Maker slows down to start building up the conflict to come. With the King’s condition looking grim and prospective leaders stepping up to fill his boots, King-Maker sets the scene nicely for the drama to come while also adding a stand-alone narrative to play out across this episode in the form of Chun-Joong’s fortune telling.
With the King in a bad state of health, episode 4 of King Maker: The Change of Destiny begins with the whisper of forces moving to try and take the throne. Before we get there though, Chun-Joong grabs Bong-Ryeong and hides her from In-Gyu and his moving forces who close in on their location. After confronting her about what happened, he slips away into the night as she whispers her thanks to the heavens for him still being alive. Symbolically, Chun-Joong sits by the river and takes the ribbon from their tree, stuffing it in his robes just as the sun starts to poke its head up on the horizon.
Meanwhile, the Red Monk finds himself embarrassed infront of the townsfolk just as Chun-Joong joins in to laugh. Pal-Ryong then arrives and encourages him to take up the fortune telling position. When things don’t go to plan, he hands back a bag of money to the young girl and her brother sitting before him and apologises. In private, he admits to Pal-Ryong that the man has a strange aura and calls him an “unsolvable puzzle”.
Meanwhile, at Jangdong Kim-Moon Jaw-Keun Kim’s residence, the concubines gather before Nahab and share tea until the princess arrives to greet them. She takes up Nahab’s position at the top of the table and tells a story about a girl nicknamed “Pants Grabber”. As the girls ask who this is relating to, it turns out it’s Nahab. She doesn’t admit this to the girls though, but in private she discusses this with Nahab. Clasping her hand, the Princess reveals the letter she wrote to her old nobleman and in exchange for keeping this scandalous news quiet, asks for a room in the Prostitute House.
After showing true kindness to a young girl working, Pal-Ryong berates Chun-Joong in private for being overly charitable. Meanwhile, the King’s condition continues to worsen prompting the counsel to join and discuss who takes up his position as King when he’s gone. The King mentions abdicating the throne and as the meeting adjourns, Queen Jo introduces him to a man named Ha-Jeon Lee, someone she claims can succeed him as the new King.
Chun-Joong, disguised under the pretense of his Mu-Myung Choi persona, visits the Queen Mother with the Princess Bong-Ryeon who happens to be there. They test his abilities and with scripture showing two dates before him, Chun-Joong guesses the personality traits of the royal pair perfectly before being escorted out. In the courtyard he’s confronted by the Minister of Justice who throws a bag of coins to him for his service. When Chun-Joong throws it back however, the Minister looks dumbfounded as Chun-Joong walks away.
At Wallsong-Ru, Bong-Ryeong dons a disguise and helps one of the girls from the House, telling her to look after her family and promises to pray for her while Chun-Joong eavesdrops outside the door. In the morning Chun-Joong learns the truth about the man from earlier, who happens to show up unannounced demanding to know his true destiny. Eventually Chun-Joong spills the truth and admits that he’s going to fail, with cursed luck befalling him for the next 20 years.
Unable to deal with his destiny being revealed, the man snaps and eventually finds himself in the presence of the Princess whom he chokes out. Just as she looks to slip and fall unconscious, Chun-Joong arrives and saves her life, bringing her back to his residence for medical care. As they look upon one another’s faces, the episode ends.
With a drip-feed of political drama at the palace and more character-driven drama outside those four walls this time around, King Maker slows its pace down and even injects some light bites of humour in the form of the Red Monk. Chun-Joong’s fortune telling strikes again though and the series looks like it’s gearing up for some big reveals and spikes in drama for the episodes ahead. For now though, episode 4 doesn’t do an awful lot for the overarching narrative aside from a couple of individual scenes but given this series has a good 24 episodes to get through, it’s almost inevitable that there would be a few filler pieces. The series is still interesting and engaging though, but just not quite as thrilling as the opening few have been.
Published: 31 May 2020 at 12:00 pm on
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!