Following the attempt on King Cheoljong’s life, episode 13 of Mr Queen begins with Bong-Hwan rushed back to the palace. While he’s certainly against this idea, Hwa-Jin meanwhile prays with Queen Dowager, promising to gain revenge.
Byeong-In checks in with Bong-Hwan who’s worried sick and wants to see the King. Only, there’s limited access to him while he’s bandaged up and receiving treatment. As the Queen walks away, he throws his arms around her and flashbacks from the past bleed through again. There, Cheoljong sees So-Yong about to kiss Byeong-In and starts to understand what’s going on. Back in the present though, he tells Byeong-In he wants to be left alone.
Byeong-In instead turns his attention to the royal Guards and has them interrogated. One guard is whipped into submission, admitting that he serves the King and believes Kim Jwa-Geum is the one responsible. Byeong-In simply calls him clever but continues his torturous ordeal.
Of course, the subject of the ledger is still a hot topic but for now, the King regaining consciousness distracts everyone. Bong-Hwan charges over but when he gets there, the King is fast asleep. However, he’s not alone as Hwa-Jin rocks up too. She convinces the Queen to leave and tries to talk to Cheoljong. However, she’s distracted by a book – the Queen’s dictionary to be precise – on the side.
Meanwhile, Jwa-Geum approaches Bong-Hwan and asks about the ledger. He knows she’s seen it and demands to know where. After striking a deal with Jwa-Geum, Bong-Hwan heads back to the lake and dives deep into the water, intent on trying to experience memories from the past again.
It seems to work too as he sees flashes of the Queen begrudgingly striking a deal with Jwa-Geum after he reminds her the position of Queen is pointless in the long run. So-Yong’s Father sold her out to line his own pockets and even worse, Jwa-Geum wanted to use her to spy on the King. Feeling helpless, this, coupled with Byeong-In’s confession, drove So-Yong to jump in the lake.
Back to the present, Bong-Hwan is disgusted at what he’s learned and confronts So-Yong’s Father, telling her it’s his fault she jumped in the lake that day. He next finds Byeong-In and tells him not to call her name or do anything beyond their official titles, admitting that all her memories have now returned.
Byeong-In heads in to see the Grand Queen Dowager, feeding back the issue surrounding potassium nitrate being found at the scene. As she hangs her head and wonders quite what this means, Byeong-In admits that he wants the King. When he leaves, the Queen’s Father arrives to see her the Grand Queen Dowager and confesses that the King has the ledger.
Meanwhile, Hwa-Jin meets Jwa-Geum and tells him it was the Queen who hurt the King. Jwa-Geum doesn’t believe her but does realize that the King has feelings for So-Yong. Because of this, he realizes this could be a powerful tool of persuasion to use going forward.
Queen Sunwon arrives at the royal palace clutching a book and looking for the Queen. Only, she happens to be in the royal kitchen cooking. Given her knack for food, Bong-Hwan makes a carrot soup (codenamed: Brunch) for Grand Queen Dowager and Queen Dowager – who aren’t exactly happy that they’re placed in the same room together.
When Bong-hwan claims he’s going to organize more of these meetings, they both call her a wench under their breath and strain a smile.
Meanwhile, Kim Hwan awaits Hong and declares his love for her. Only, she unfortunately turns around and says “not me”, crushing the poor royal.
The next day, King Cheoljong returns with a vengeance. He arrives in court ready to rule while admitting that he investigated everyone himself – especially all of those inside court. He knows who’s behind the attack and breaks the news to them all about the potassium nitrate.
Cheoljong looked up the shipments coming in and points at one person being responsible for stealing this specific substance – Jwa Geum. As we cut back and see, Cheoljong orchestrated all of this and knew that his royal guards would be tortured for this defiance. At the time, he pleaded with all of them to hang in there while he investigated.
Breathing heavily, we cut back to the present as Cheoljong condemns Jwa Geum and Minister of War Kim Chang Hyuk for their part to play in this attack. As Grand Queen Dowager steps up and confronts Cheoljong, the King bites back and demands she withdraw her regency as she’s clearly not in a fit state to judge.
While things begin to grow heated, Jwa-Geum steps up and kneels, promising to do his best to clear his name. After falling straight into this trap, the Grand Queen Dowager is furious and confronts Jwa-Geum after their meeting. However, Jwa-Geum is not going down without a fight and continues to scheme with her.
Meanwhile, Bong-Hwan receives confirmation that the King has recovered and breathes a sigh of relief. For now though, she continues drinking at the Royal kitchen while Court Lady Choi joins her. The pair wind up incredibly drunk and stumble back to the Palace again later that evening.
While Bong-Hwan’s gone, other court ladies break into Daejojeon and take the confidential documents hidden within. They bring them straight to the Grand Queen Dowager and Jwa-Geum. The pair decide to come out fighting and intend to use the Queen against the King. If they can’t remove Cheoljong then they’re make it so his position is one that’s full of heartache.
That evening, the Queen lies in bed drunk and looks up at Hong-Yeon fondly. He touches her face and she touches his back. It looks like she leans in for a kiss… as the scene fades to black. Next thing we know, Bong-Hwan awakens and finds the King lying next to him instead. What on earth happened?
The Episode Review
Mr Queen returns with an incredibly dramatic episode as all our characters reel over the planned attack on the King. It’s clear now that Cheoljong is onto Jwa-Geum and Grand Queen Dowager, who have both been responsible in meddling with the King all this time. Even now, they’re still scheming to have him removed from his position.
Cheoljong’s return was certainly a nice inclusion to the show and Mr Queen has done a great job switching things up this week to produce an episode of pure historical drama.
Much of this show has danced a fine line between comedy and drama but here the comedy is almost completely gone in favour of the drama, which dominates much of the run-time. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but it does make for a much more serious and involving watch than some may be expecting.
The ending certainly leaves the door wide open for the next chapter though, with lots of questions hanging over this one. Roll on the next episode!