Mr Queen – K-Drama Episode 20 (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review

Bittersweet Symphony

Episode 20 of Mr Queen begins with Jwa-Geun searching the food transport. Thankfully, it happens to be a different one to the cart Bong-Hwan and Cheoljong are hiding out in. With the ceremony due to start in the afternoon, the pair exchange a kiss and head inside the palace.

After a brief greeting with the head eunuch, fighting breaks out in the courtyard before the horns blow, signifying the start of the enthronement ceremony. Grand Queen Dowager and Jwa-Geun prepare to play their part. Only, they suddenly come undone when they find the royal seal has been taken.

The one to take it? None other than Kim Hwan! It turns out Bong-Hwan tasked him with this after revealing himself as Lee Saeng-Min. He, in turn, hands it over to Hong and Prince Youngpyeong who have patched up their differences from the previous episode.

The Donghak believers rally together, with Man-Bok, Choi and the others all lending their strength to the fight. While they do, Jwa-Geun and Grand Queen Dowager call all the soldiers back into the inner-most part of the palace. That’s just as well too, given Bong-Hwan and Cheoljong are preparing themselves to reach the main chamber… only Jwa-Geun has a secret weapon up his sleeve.

That weapon comes in the form of Sal-Soo who crouches on the rooftop with his gun. He shots Cheoljong but Bong-Hwan gets in the way and takes the shot. As he fires again, this time it strikes Cheoljong. Prince Youngpyeong suddenly shows up and manages to shoot Sal-Soo. In the midst of all this commotion, Bong-Hwan suddenly returns to his real body and awakens from his coma.

Bong-Hwan charges out the hospital, evading his captors, and straight into the bookstore to check up details on the Joseon Dynasty. Only, when he checks it doesn’t say Cheoljong, it says Cheoljo.

And now we jump back to what happened in the courtyard. Cheoljong is alive, as is So-Yong who inexplicably returns to her body. Jwa-Geun heads out though and begins fighting with Cheoljong. The King finally wins, splitting Jwa-Geun’s blade and slicing his crown right from atop his head.

He refuses to give Jwa-Geun the pleasure of death though, instead forcing the minister to live in humiliation at his failed plot. And if that wasn’t decisive enough, Sal-Soo is killed.

While the King heads in to take the throne for himself, the Queen loses consciousness from a lack of blood. Big question marks remain over whether the Queen will be okay but thankfully she pulls through, as does the baby.

On the back of this, the Grand Queen Dowager is moved to the West Palace. Only, the court ladies on the other side of the door refuse to let her go, informing them that the Queen has arrived. And just like that, a graceful So-Yong shows up and confronts the Grand Queen Dowager. She has the pleasure of telling her personally that she’s to be confined to the Hall until she’s moved to the West Palace.

As So-Yong leaves the room, echoes of Bong-Hwan’s personality seem to have been imprinted on the Queen as she curses in amusement.

Queen Dowager is exiled to the West Palace too and although she tries to weasel her way out of things, it’s to no avail. All the corrupt politicians, thanks in part to the letter of treason, are imprisoned for 3 years. Cheoljong calls them all thieves and has them walk shamelessly through the village, including Jwa-Geun.

Time passes and So-Yong finally softens and grows into her role. She’s no longer consumed by doubts and thoughts of death, and as she heads back to the site it all began, she sees the scratches on the rock from Bong-Hwan.

So-Yong’s Father arrives and greets his daughter, which is an opportune time given the baby starts to kick. With everything looking positive, Court Lady Choi arrives to see Man-Bok in his kitchen. He embraces her and smiles warmly.

On the subject of endings, Kim-Hwan applies to become a delegate for the foreign ministry. He and Hong share some banter, while Prince Youngpyeong meets Hwa-Jin again.

Cheoljong decides to give power out to the people, but after his meeting believes he’s missing something. Touching the Queen’s dictionary he heartbreakingly mentions that she’s different now.

As we jump back to the present, Bong-Hwan looks in amusement at the portrait on the back of the Joseon book, which happens to be the same expression Cheoljong pulled in court that day.

Ans now we’re back with Bong-Hwan. It turns out time has been rewritten here on the back of what’s happened in the Joseon era. He’s not actually being tailed by the police to arrest him. They’re keeping tabs on him to try and protect the man after he ended up as a whistleblower.

It turns out he actually fixed the CCTV cameras back at work and gave the footage of the thief to the media for free. As Bong-Hwan looks out at the streets, relaying a positive message about trying to enact change, his story comes to a close.


The Episode Review

Mr Queen was always going to be a difficult drama to wrap up in a satisfying way and to be honest, the show does leave on a rather bittersweet and hollow note. One of the big problems here comes from Bong-Hwan and Cheoljong’s interactions which were unfortunately ended abruptly without any time to say goodbye.

Cheoljong touching the Queen’s Dictionary and realizing that something is missing seems to be a hint toward him knowing, perhaps subconsciously, that the Queen was a slightly different person all along.

In a way, it is a bit of a shame he couldn’t stay in the Joseon Period, and from a purely personal note I would have liked it if we had an entire episode of So-Yong adopting Bong-Hwan’s body and living out his life as a way of balancing the power dynamic.

Here, it seems like So-Yong was somehow aware of Bong-Hwan being in her body but ultimately powerless to stop him…which is pretty terrifying when you think about it. To make matters worse, after Bong-Hwan has done all the heavy lifting and won over the King, So-Yong slides on in and takes all the glory.

Shin Hye Sun deserves a lot of credit for this drama though and she manages to perfectly adopt both roles – and perhaps three roles if you count the So-Yong/Bong-Hwan hybrid at the end. The fact that she somehow has less chemistry with Cheoljong after Bong-Hwan returns to his real body is testament in itself.

And speaking of which, what happened there? Why did the pair switch bodies? And how? And why Bong-Hwan specifically? None of this was really explained, and I guess some of it would have been okay if we at least received some form of a goodbye for Bong-Hwan. Or seeing him embracing this So-Yong persona and playing out her life, with So-Yong jumping to the future and adopting Bong-Hwan’s body.

Still, despite all that Mr Queen has been a thoroughly enjoyable watch that just stumbles at the last hurdle. It’s still a good show though, with lots of laughs, romance and compelling drama, but the ending is going to be a polarizing one for many people.

 

What did you think of the ending? Are you in the love or hate camp? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Episode Rating
3.5

15 thoughts on “Mr Queen – K-Drama Episode 20 (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review”

  1. The drama is nice and soul awakening. The characters especially the Mr. Queen, I don’t know what say about her but the lady is so amazing. She delivered her part perfect including her two maids but the ending part of the movie makes it look as if the king fell in love with the guy and not the Queen.

    I, await season two of the movie and I look forward to the day I’ll have lunch with the Queen.

  2. A lot of people are mad about the ending and calling it straightwashed but how is it okay for CJ to not know that he is with a man? I think SB and CJ have awesome chemistry and I would’ve looooved them together don’t get me wrong but in the end BH knows he’s a man but CJ doesn’t and that would always be a rift between them. I think the writers did the best ending they could do, I saw another comment here explain it pretty well. It would’ve been straightwashed if CJ knew he was with a man but he thought he was with a woman so I don’t really feel it applies.

  3. Ah, I really enjoyed this amazing drama so much. The same feeling I got when I the legends of the blue sea typewriter is still the same feeling I got in Mr queen and I hope there will be season 2 of this drama. I am desperately waiting for Mr queen season 2.

  4. Pienso que el nunca se enamoró del rey. Sus sentimientos por el estaban ligados a los sentimientos de So Yong. Si se presta atención al drama, se ve que el lucha contra esos sentimientos “mujer controlate!, mientras mi espíritu este en tu cuerpo, yo mando”. Pero no era así, es difícil aceptar el final, porque en nuestra mente solo veíamos a BM, pero en realidad estaban los dos en el cuerpo. Así que muchas se sus decisiones, fueron influenciadas por ella. Entra también, sus sentimientos por el papá. Fue el mejor final para este tipo de historia. Lo único que me dejó un sabor agridulce, fue el rey. Porque ciertamente el se enamoró de la personalidad de BM, pero eso no quita que se hubiese podido enamorar de SY. Era la niña que conoció cuando eran chicos, solo que su sed de venganza no le iba a dejar ver a la mujer que realmente era y podía ser con el. Así que BM realmente fue un enlace, para lo que debía suceder, y si, cambio un poco la historia como regalo adicional.

  5. Harry I so agree. That’s what was disappointing. Not enough Bong Hwan. I agree with everything. I couldn’t even get though the last episode.

    So Yong who’s been gone takes all the credit in the last 40 minutes to give the most straight ending possible.

    And it’s appalling that people are so dense. What is it so shocking than Bong Hwan fell for CJ? What so a guy can’t have feelings for another guy?

  6. The ending is absolutely disappointing…..in my view so yong is no different from hwa jin….like she stole the credit from saving him from the well this person stole the credit from SB…..in the first place the writers did not aim for the Audience to get attached to so yong character….instead they completely made the Audience fall in love with SB….even the king fell for how unique she is and the quirky way of doing things…..if it was so yong then she would just be another hwa jin…..and people saying SB occupied her body…..yeah he did and not on his own voilation….SY wanted to die it was her choice to give up her life and after the choice was taken SB became the victim…..after that we didn’t see any scene of the actual so yong…..all the relationships SB built through his stay in the castle all the ideas he came up with to survive and win people over all the things about him that attracted the king and made him fall in love with SB….. everything just became so yong’s even though she did absolutely nothing…..if she really loved the king and had some conscience she should have atleast confessed to the king that the person he loved was different but she choose not to speak and took all the credit of saving everyone’s ass…..and what??SB obviously came to love the king but we had to be STRAIGHTWASHED…..so you are saying that after SB went back to his body all he cared about is whether the king changed the world or not….you are saying he didn’t even give a single thought about all the moments they shared as lovers and couple…..he didn’t think about all the kisses they shared or the kiss where HE initiated…..like the writers conviently choose not to mention all the romantic feelings SB had for the king…..and that one stupid dialogue they gave for the king….am I missing something??do u realise what it makes the king….like he loved her THAT much and when she practically became a different person he never questioned it??…..that made it seem like he didn’t even care what’s inside the shell is enough…..the ending was sooo dissapointing…..I absolutely loved the show until ep 19 but then the utter dissapointment came soo suddenly…..this drama would have been an absolute MASTERPIECE if they put some more thought into it and tied up the loose ends….they honestly did SB soo dirty

  7. I know all this kill all the LGBT people I don’t feel sorry for anyone of you, be straight and fix your sorry lives, all I took from this story was that the chef got in touch with his emotions and stopped being a jackass because so yang helped him, and he helped her become stronger, but Nooooooo that’s not all you would see, it would have made more sense if she could control her body and actions for a certain time before he took over. Then maybe the LGBT parade would take a chill pill

  8. Didn’t love it, but more because they leaned on the comedy so heavily that they left the audience to infer SY’s presence rather than plainly showing it. But I didn’t hate it: with an actress that good, who doesn’t want her on screen every possible moment? Just think about it: her performance has left us all talking as if she really were one person inside another: when she turns on the BH, we really believe he’s there.

    To put it bluntly, at the start, BH is an egomaniacal jerk who doesn’t give a d*** about anybody but himself. When SB gives that ‘perfect man’ speech, that is exactly how BH sees himself: he’s the center of the universe and everybody else is just an actor in his personal drama. When he gets to Joseon, he doesn’t care about the people there, either: he reacts to the women because they’re beautiful, not because he has the remotest real concern for them. He’s all about himself, and he’s going to do whatever it takes to get back to his own time: if people get hurt, that’s their tough luck.

    With the voice change, he realizes that he’s no longer in control: he doesn’t know what’s happening. He’s got emotions that aren’t his and desires that aren’t his, and they’re changing his even when he doesn’t want them to: he’s starting to see the people around him as people, not just scenery or obstacles. And when he gets SY’s memories, he starts to understand her and to care about her: he’s angry about the way she was treated and protective of her; he tells the king pointblank “you’ve got some nerve: you should paid all this attention before she tried to kill herself.” I think it’s a pivotal point.

    SY is there, and she’s never had anyone. Her father wanted a daughter fit to be chosen Queen. KB wanted the woman he thought he saw. She meets the King and thinks that he may be someone she can love, someone she can use her talents for — and he finds out what her name is and then and there he’d be happy to see her dead. But no matter how badly she behaves, he won’t just let her go: he’s got a chance to get back at someone from the Kim clan, and he’s happy to have it. She refused to be used as a spy, despite the King’s being very clear about his having no use for her. Told she can just suck up being a regularly used and/or humiliated nothing for the rest of her life, she chooses the only exit left to her: the lake.

    And then, Bong Hwan. Who, when he gets her memories, understands her and is furious for her: she’s more real to him that she is to the King or her father or KB or anyone else around her, and he cares more about her than any of them did: to him, she’s not just a pawn or a face — she’s a real person with real feelings, and he knows because he can feel them, too. And she might have seen herself as having no choices, but he doesn’t see himself that way at all. So it’s just get ready, everybody, because SY finally has somebody in her corner, and you are all about to have your hands fuller than you even begin to know what to do with.

    But even while he’s acting for both of them, SY is affecting him: the self-focused BH is having his emotions expanded by feeling hers. He doesn’t always want to, particularly when it comes to her attraction to the King, but for once he’s not in complete control: those emotions affect his decisions, and he’s learning to care about the people around him and what happens to them, learning to put other people first, learning that love is about minds and hearts, not bodies. I loved watching that change happen, because it was as if, like SY, he was becoming the person that he should always have been — although I suppose it might sound odd that even knowing it was a comedy, I still wanted BH to turn into so much more than the womanizing walking ego trip he was at the start and for SY’s nerve and intelligence and self-discipline to shine for someone, not just her face or her rank.

    I think BH’s going back to his own time was the best they could do in terms of satisfying an audience that was going to want very different endings. If BH stayed in the past, SY would be trapped in her own body, watching him live out her life or she’d have to be killed off in some way — which would be as good as saying that it’s fine to keep women powerless or kill them if a man happens to find them inconvenient, and there’s nothing even remotely funny about that. It would also be saying that LGBT relationships only work if one of the people in the relationship isn’t clearly visible to the other, and there’s nothing even remotely funny about that, either. And it would have done a real disservice to BH as a character: the person he was at the start wouldn’t have thought twice about helping himself to anything that he wanted, but the person he became would have known that he was having this ‘life’ at someone else’s expense – that this wasn’t his body or his life or his child — and he wouldn’t have been fine with it.

    I don’t know if BH was falling in love with the King or simply being carried along on SY’s emotions and having his horizons widened as a result: I think the writers gave us the gift of letting us interpret it either way because whether we want it to be BH/CJ or SY/CJ, we know how the story really ended: the King died young and their only child died, too. If we stop it here, we can give them in our imaginations the happy ending we want them to have and know they won’t get: BH would be trapped in the past without the King, and that’s no more a happy ending than losing her husband and only child would be for SY. As it is, SY gets the man she loves and to be the woman she always wanted to be; the King — if slightly confused as to who was where when — gets to have someone with him that he trusts and to make his dreams of bettering the lives of his people happen: it’s as if you’re watching the two of them revert back to the children they really never got a chance to be. BH is back in his own time, his own life, and his own body — and however he felt about the King, he’s finally grown up, and it’s easy to believe that his life from now on is going to be much different than it would have been because he’s a very different and — not that I mean to offend anyone — a much better person. I can imagine him finding a lover and using his cooking skills to become a success, and both of them making a real difference in the lives of the people around them — a life he couldn’t have had in the past.

    So all in all, although I didn’t get to see the ending I wanted to see, I’m fine with it.

  9. Yes Khady! The ending was so disappointing. Yes to the straightwashing. It was totally straight washed. Not only that everything was undone. So Yong shoulda been the one to take the bullet for the king, not So Bong, if she so loved him so much!

    I’ve never really disliked So Yong until this straight wash of an ending.

    It was so disappointing. It is the best drama I’ve seen in the romance department but the ending was so disappointing and infuriating. Girl why didn’t you take the bullet?

    Why the heck was Bong Hwan relegated from the story when he is the main hero/main character!? He was the one who formed all those bonds that saved their asses. He was the one who befriended that child maid and really got to know and take care of her, whose father saved the king’s ass.

    Still best drama I’ve seen in the romance genre, next to Sky castle. But worst ending ever.

  10. This ending was so bad I don’t even know where to begin with. Throughout the episode 20 I couldn’t help but fell heartbroken and dumbfounded that they chose to take this road. It was Sobong’s (Mainly BH) personality that the king fell in love with. SB made so many sacrifices just to be in the end relegated to being the third wheel in her/his own love story. And SY gets to take credit for everything BH did which is unfair and dishonest on so many levels. This was just yet again another STRAIGHTWASHED ending. The true lovers didn’t end together. Both BH and CJ lost something in the end and the only one who got a happy ending( without doing much besides trying to kill herself out of cowardice ) was KSY. I enjoy the 19,2 episodes though.

  11. I absolutely agreed with that.

    Even I don’t buy the whole soul switching unless Bong Hwan is the reincarnation of So Yong. It’s like they couldn’t decide whether to keep So Yong dead or alive. Ugh they should have just kept So Yong dead and have Bong Hwan be the reincarnation of So Yong. It would have made a lot more sense than have So Yong be so different from So Bong.

    Even I like Eun Bin with the king than So Yong. Eun Bin went all in for the king.

    So Yong is pretty spoiled and would have never been able to form bonds with the Head Chef, who saved their asses, or the two maids. She would have never stepped into the kitchen. So Yong isn’t that different from Eun Bin. So Yong would have done nothing and couldn’t have saved the king.

    If the romance wasn’t a big part of the drama, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But their bond, CJ with So Bong is the integral part of this entire show!

    The mistake was differentiating So Yong from So Bong and making them so different. I really felt Bong Hwan was So Yong in that he is detached from her memories but he feels them as if he were able to relive them. He’s even able to say/articulate things he said from the past like “I’d rather die smiling.” Bringing So Yong back from the dead is a plot hole. When So Bong passed out, went back to his body, So Yong lost pulse. Exactly she shoulda stayed dead. But nope, plot convenience. So Yong can’t die. She was revived by plot convenience and the need to keep the ending as heteronormative as possible.

    Ugh. Kdramas are notorious for bad finales. I mean look at Sky Castle.

  12. I love the way the drama ended here. No one was harmed. Early episodes had more comedy, but it is understandable that the team might have had to change some of the comic elements from there. We keep watching the drama based on the first impression, if they do not change it drastically, we don’t feel the comedy changing. That’s what happened here. Shin Hye Sun does a great job playing the man inside the woman. So does Kim Jung Hyun, in his dual role. Portraying Cheoljong acting as an obedient child in front of the powerful Dowager Queens when he wanted something done. For his fate with Kims that was the wisest way for him to survive.

    The Queen still has some Bong Hwan spirit left, which Cheoljong fell in love with. I would have liked more Bong Hwan spirit left in her though. The drama shows that he still loved the Queen even something was missing.

    Bong Hwan returning back to his present day personality and understanding that even though the world changes there are still bad nuts to be found some ware. He finds out his contribution in this world to finding the corrupted. He does not have to be that hard working for those things like early days Cheoljong and So Yong. Interesting though Secretary Han was also in the past and present.

    The Drama ends in a very positive note. I loved the show from the beginning to the end.

  13. Ohhhh I enjoyed the drama so much….. The same feeling I got when I watched Chicago typewriter is still the same feeling I got in Mr queen. I really admire the writers creativity…. Kudos 😁😁 but I really wish Bong Hwan stayed in So Young’s body though

  14. Because the romance became so prominent in the second half, its easy to forget that most of the first few episodes were related to BONG HWAN teying to get back to his time and place.While my immediate gutteral respomse was for BH to stay in So Yong that would really have been a disservice to his life.

    So Yong loved the King and she was the one that saved him from the well in the first place. and the Secret reveals she was a woman of action striving to see him.

    i think the writers did a good job of showing BH and SY changed history for the better and I think they dropped enough hints that old SY had some characteristics of BH. The Vulcan mindmeld wemt both ways. Yes the King may miss all of BH but maybe there is enough there and did BH really want to gibe birth etc.

    I thought great series. and the cjoice of where BH ends up in the end cannot detract from eberything that came before

  15. Hate camp here. Though I’m coming to terms with it…I mean, what else can I do? The drama was gold for 19.2 episodes. The problem is that they succeeded too well in convincing audiences that So Bong and Cheoljong loved each other. Each and every time he fell more and more deeply in love, it was because of her personality. A personality that was in no way a reflection of So Yong – who was a practical stranger to audiences. By episode 18 and 19, SB had accepted her feelings for CJ and they were just one of the most beautiful pairings I’d ever seen. That kiss scene when they were reunited at the rebel camp made me believe in true love. What really made the ending not work for me was that SY was just some random girl (who the flashbacks did not endear to me – she seemed in all but one to be vapid and spoiled) who took all the credit for SB’s efforts in helping CJ regain and reshape his kingdom as well as unintentionally winning his heart. In that respect, she was no different than Jo Hwa Jin who lied about the well to snag CJ for herself. CJ loved the uniqueness of his queen, but after BH went back to the present Korea, he was absolutely oblivious to the fact that it wasn’t the same woman. Yeah, she picked up a few superficial habits, but SY is so vastly different from SB. How could he not tell? At least give us more than a “did I lose something” to show that your soulmate is gone. Are women that interchangeable to this man? HW to SB to SY? It seemed even the writers realized that was a shallow move b/c they kept CJ and SY’s verbal interactions to a minimum post switch-back. It’s the same problem that happened with GOT. By the time they got to the ending, the narrative didn’t fit the characterization they had built up, but instead of finding a way to make it work, they just waved their magic pencil and forced a square peg into the round hole then made the audience deal with the messy splinters of this could-have-been-perfect story. A reddit poster said it best: they made SB the second lead in her own damn love story.

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