There’s A New Chef In Town!
Bong-Hwan is held up at sword-point as episode 3 of Mr Queen begins. He tries to pay off the disguised King with a stack of coins but he’s having none of it. Telling him she’s part of the armed forces, a rogue sword whizzes through the air and interrupts their discussion.
Kim Byeong-In enters the fight. He’s part of Jae-Geun’s family and he’s certainly in no mood to talk. The pair trade blows in a dazzling sword fight as the King continues to hide his identity. However, it eventually comes to a standstill when someone from afar throws a roof tile.
He tasks his subordinates to try and find the King while carrying a drunken Bong-Hwan back to the palace. However, the guards don’t get far as Youngpyeong and Hong are approached but immediately feign an argument. As the guards back away, both men pretend to be engaged in a big fight which clears the room.
With the place clear, they both speak to King Cheoljong about what’s transpired and worry that if his intuition is wrong then this could spell bad news for them all.
After bringing the Queen back, Byeong-In reflects on moments from the past surrounding how So-Yong despaired at being the Queen. Holding her face, he promises not to forget her and kisses the girl tentatively. He wonders what happened to the Queen-to-be but it seems clear that she was not happy about the marriage. Kissing her cousin doesn’t exactly instill a lot of joy in her either though.
Meanwhile, a hungover Bong-Hwan does his best to play up the role of Queen but struggles to keep her food down. He’s determined to get a good meal and unfortunately the current chefs just aren’t cutting it. Instead, he heads in himself and begins cutting and cooking like a pro as the chefs watch on in amazement. When she leaves, the head chef realizes what she’s cooked is unlike anything he’s ever tasted.
After eating, Cheoljong arrives and asks the Queen whether she was drinking the night before. Unsure what the King’s true nature is, Bong-Hwan unceremoniously burps which causes him to walk away.
Bong-Hwan is obviously unaware of what transpired between So-Yong and Byeong-in the night before the lake incident. With that in mind, he shows back up at the palace and asks outright whether she was threatened or not. He eventually mentions the previous night and wonders whether that and the lake incident are related. When Byeong-In learns she lost all memories from before that day, he looks crushed but remains determined to help keep her visit in town a secret.
Court Lady Choi arrives to find the valuable item she’s been instructed to find. This happens to be a kaleidoscope and nothing like the silk she believed she’d be finding. Still, she certainly isn’t complaining as she looks through and sees images of buff men!
Meanwhile, Bong-Hwan returns to the kitchen and begins competing against the Royal Chef to see who’s the better cook. Bong-Hwan is first to finish and tasks the Royal Cuisine Inspector to taste both dishes to see which is the best. Bong-Hwan wins hands down, eventually prompting her to reveal she’s in charge and everyone needs to follow the Queen’s lead.
Cheoljong calls Bong-Hwan into his royal chamber and asks about her day, wanting to know exactly who she’s been speaking to. After a brief conversation, the pair fall asleep but Cheoljong dreams of Hwa-Jin, which certainly bothers Bong-Hwan. Eventually the pair wrestle over the covers before Cheoljong succumbs to the Queen.
The next day, Bong-Hwan heads out and tries (in vain) to impress Hwea-Jin. She’s got pretty goo archery skills and he quickly tells her about the pact he and Cheoljong have going on. After, he heads back to the kitchen and tries to work out why the Queen’s Dowager isn’t eating all of her food.
While the Minister of War inspects the army, Youngpyeong and Hong head into the war counsel room and contemplate their next move. Their facade of being gamblers locked in a bickering feud seems to hold up for now but it’s clear eyes are on them.
Hong eventually gives Prince Youngpyeong a special mission and he’s overcome with joy about it. This brings him before the King who contemplates just what “No touch” means. Youngpyeong commentates that it may be from a Buddhist text.
When the room is cleared, Youngpyeong hands over the special item as he learns that tonight is the night they’ll put their plan into action. However, he’s delayed thanks to the Queen cooking for the Queen Dowager. Despite her doing this to test her culinary skills, he’s convinced that she’s ignoring him.
As night turns to day, she serves the food to the Grand Queen Dowager who happens to be suffering from some pretty gnarly dental pain. She marvels at the food, commenting how it looks like embroidery. She’s even more startled with she learns that the Queen was the one who cooked it.
After tasting the food, she heads back and thanks the Queen who promises to keep cooking if the people can fill the lake. Of course, the only way to do that right now is to fill it with buckets of water. The servants get to work but problems with the different court ladies sees one of them accuse the Queen of jumping in the lake herself. Is this true or another lie? We continue…
The King decides to test his throwing skills, especially on the back of Byeong-In’s attack. This sees him put up a makeshift bullseye on the support beam as he realizes throwing daggers is harder than he thought.
After a busy day, Bong-Hwan sits with the King and is served strong tea. However, this jogs memories from his drunken night as he realizes the King was the one who attacked him out in the street. As the King holds a dagger under his sleeve, ready to strike if need be, the two square off as Bong-Hwan wonders what to do next.
The Episode Review
Mr Queen has certainly been an eventful Korean drama, both on and off screen. For those unaware, Mr Queen has been in the news this week for “mocking Korean history” with its alt-version of true events. Of course, with another historical fiction of the time period there’s going to be push-back and given the comedic nature of this one, it was always going to draw critical eyes.
In fact, given the sexual nature for some of these jokes, the production team even came out and made a public apology so it’ll be interesting to see how that affects the show going forward.
What we do get this week though is a more straight forward slice of character development. With Bong-Hwan in the royal kitchen and testing his culinary skills, there’s a neat shift in power between the male and female characters which makes for quite the enthralling watch.
It also helps that the King has shown himself to be just as competent as Bong-Hwan too, unsure of the Queen following him inhabiting her body.
So far this drama has done well to keep things engaging and although it is a little slower, the show is undoubtedly funny and this episode is no exception.