We begin episode 10 of Mr Queen with the King calling out for Hwa-Jin while stuck in the well. Eventually Bong-Hwan saves him from his ill-fate and brings Cheoljong back to the Queen’s room. Bong-Hwan shrugs off the apparent insult and decides to embrace being Hwa-Jin for now to comfort the King. It seems to do the trick as he holds Cheoljong and allows him to calm down.
Meanwhile, Hwa-Jin decides to unbind herself from the past and reveal everything to the King. She heads to the palace but learns the King isn’t there as he’s obviously with Bong-Hwan.
Speaking of which, when Hong-Yeon shows up in the morning, she finds the Queen asleep with Cheoljong and hurries out the door. When Bong-Hwan opens his eyes, he reaches out and looks set to touch Cheoljong’s nose… until he opens his eyes. Bong-Hwan hilariously rolls away and greets the King.
When Lord Kim opens the door, Bong-Hwan gets some of the Queen’s memories back. These include So-Yong’s Father being the one responsible for trapping Cheoljong inside the well.
After this flashback, we cut back to the present as Bong-Hwan sees straight through Kim’s façade and wonders quite why she’s been set up with Cheoljong. Anyway, the pair eventually had back to the main palace again. On the way though, Bong-Hwan realizes that he has his investiture of the royal concubines coming up and he waves to the common folk outside enthusiastically.
While Bong-Hwan rushes off, Cheoljong holds his meeting with Hong and Prince Youngpyeong about the ledger and assassin. They suspect this man was the head eunuch but right now they don’t have any real leads. Their real goal here though is the ledger and right now they’re not entirely sure where it is.
After getting her wires crossed with the Grand Queen Dowager, Bong-Hwan finds himself back in the kitchen again. This time he’s teaching Man-Bok how to cook but being suitably secretive about the exact recipe and how to make this food. Man-Bok though takes numerous notes as Bong-Hwan finishes the dish of gukbap and has the food palanquin taken up to the Grand Queen Dowager.
While Bong-Hwan greets little Dam Hyang warmly, Man-Bok heads out to the woods and screams the Queen’s name in frustration. Only, Lady Choi happens to be there too doing the exact same thing. Man-Bok continues to curse and bemoans the Queen ruthlessly as Lady Choi suddenly appears in front of him and looks sternly at the chef.
When he eventually leaves, Choi continues to look at the kaleidoscope but this time sees Man-Bok’s face on the muscly man. Unwilling to believe she may like this chef, she quickly stamps on the trinket in panic and walks away.
After tasting her soul food, Grand Queen Dowager summons Bong-Hwan in the room and discusses the food. She talks about old memories being brought up because of this and goes on to confidently tell her they’ll be beheading Man-Bok for his part to play in the poisoning. Bong-Hwan however, does not want to see someone die and tries to convince her otherwise.
After this meeting, Bong-Hwan heads out and meets Cheoljong by the lake. He holds both her hands and discusses the royal concubines, asking what the King’s type is. After coming to a mutual understanding, with Cheoljong choosing what family they’re from, Bong-Hwan looks forward to picking out some girls. Watching from afar though happens to be Hwa-Jin who watches them with disdain. Eventually she decides against meeting the King and heads back home again.
The King receives a letter from Hwa-Jin but decides against reading it for now, especially with the prying eyes of Kim Jwa-Geun lurking about. Because of this, he doesn’t show up at the designated spot and leaves the girl feeling disappointed while clutching the confidential book from the well.
Cheoljong attends court and dismisses the Queen’s charges, Some of the officials aren’t happy, especially given the Queen’s meddling, but Cheoljong stamps his authority and manages to hold his own against the others. When he leaves, he tells the Prince that he’s going to use these concubines to further his agenda. Before that, he starts researching royal banquets in the library. Sal-Soo happens to be watching from afar but the Queen Dowager appears and convinces him to leave.
She takes him back to the palace where the duo drink tea. Queen Dowager is definitely up to something but she asks Cheoljong if she can forgive her sins by making it up to him, rather than his late Father whom she served previously. After this pleasant meeting, the woman leaves.
As she does, Cheoljong finally opens the note from Hwa-Jin and meets her at the designated spot. Unfortunately he’s too late and finds out that she’s gone. Instead, he shows up at Hwa-Jin’s place and admits he was with the Queen Dowager. A jealous Hwa-Jin mentions the incident at the lake and how Cheoljong doesn’t call her by her name. As she looks at him with teary eyes, she asks whether he’s fallen in love with the Queen.
Meanwhile, Bong-Hwan heads into the royal kitchen and watches Man-Bok work. Bong-Hwan shows pity on the man and decides to teach him after all. It turns out Man-Bok is all alone after his family and siblings were killed in 1839 for being Catholic. He spends his holidays alone but as Bong-Hwan bemoans how weak-hearted he is, this heart to heart certainly allows us to understand him a bit better.
Byeong-In shows up at the kitchen but things are awkward given he saw her and Cheoljong together. Anyway, he soon reveals about the town square incident and how the man who tried to attack her was sent by the King. Bong-Hwan gasps, impressed that Byeong-In managed to figure it out.
When the subject of love is brought up, Bong-Hwan hurries away but learns, to her horror, that the concubine choices are all in paper form instead. Oh no!
Back home, So-Yong’s Father checks the well and fails to find the documents. Instead, Lord Kim heads up to see Byeong-In to break the bad news. Instead, he’s faced with Kim Jwa-Geun. Through heir cryptic dialogue, he realizes that Kim has lost the ledger and tries to figure out his next move.
Prince Youngpyeong heads in to visit Hwa-Jin and tells her the bad news – they’ve found O-Wol. Or so they think. A dead body planted in the well is made out to be O-Wol and everyone is gathered together to see the body identified. Thanks to an extended period of time underwater, the face is barely recognizable.
Queen Dowager plays her role well and stirs things up further. Hwa-Jin heads to the archery range and begins firing her bow and arrow to relieve her stress.
Meanwhile, Grand Queen Dowager meets Cheoljong and warns the King to stay in line. If he doesn’t, then his entire family will meet an untimely demise. Just to reinforce what’s happening in the palace, Cheoljong has a bad dream that sees him strung up like a puppet at the hands of the Grand Queen Dowager. He also sees the palace burning too.
While Cheoljong has a nightmare, Bong-Hwan meanwhile has a good dream about sharing a hot tub with a number of other women. Only they suddenly fade to be replaced by Cheoljong. As he leans forward to kiss her in this dream, the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
Mr Queen returns with a very good episode, one that progresses each of our characters while adding a nice dynamic to the Cheoljong/ So-Yong romance. And romance is most certainly in the air.
The show has done an excellent job building both these characters up and the balance between comedy and drama has been on-point for the majority of these 10 episodes. The long-running joke about the concubines comes to a hilarious end too, with paper documents showing up instead of beautiful women.
It’s clear that Bong-Hwan is starting to develop feelings for the King too, unable to shake So-Yong’s desires which are coming back thanks to old memories. And what does this mean for Bong-Hwan? Is he trapped inside this body indefinitely? The show certainly leaves a lot of intriguing questions on the table as we approach the final act of this Korean drama.
For now though, Mr Queen has been a thoroughly enjoyable watch and it’ll be interesting to see where this one goes next.