Dethroning The Queen
Unable to see another guy upstaging him, Bong-Hwan opens episode 5 of Mr Queen by telling the Grand Queen Dowager that she was trying to take her own life and asks her not to kill anyone unnecessarily. With the cloth in hand, Bong-Hwan is caught out when asked exactly why he tried to commit suicide.
Feigning a faint instead, Byeong-In grabs her and winds up involved in a staring contest with Cheoljong, who scoops up a fainted Hwa-Jin.
While Daebi Jo contemplates poisoning the arrow-head and going after the Queen, Bong-Hwan is taken back home and deliberates over when to open his eyes. Only, when the Queen’s servants and Father begin crying, Bong-Hwan realizes this is a terrible moment and is forced to listen to everyone crying.
The Queen’s Father hobbles back to Ganghwamun, dropping to his knees outside and despairing over what’s happened to the Queen. There, he stands with Byeong-In who ponders quite what the King must have done to cause So-Yong to attempt suicide. He’s not alone in these thoughts though.
The Grand Queen Dowager is furious at Bong-Hwan’s insolence and admits that So-Yong came to visit her on the night she tried to take her own life. So-Yong was planning to leave the palace and couldn’t bear the misery of enduring the position of Queen.
Meanwhile, Bong-Hwan finally wakes up – properly this time given he fell asleep waiting for the others to stop crying. She heads out with Hong Yeon, intending to finish her job up at the lake. Only, when she gets there she finds out the work won’t be done for another week thanks to the well drying up.
Bong-Hwan tries tickling her way free from her servants stopping her from moving but it doesn’t work. Instead, she sends the government official in charge out into the lake himself. It’s certainly starting to fill up now but seemingly not enough to sustain her deep dive. Unfortunately she’s interrupted by the Grand Queen Dowager requesting her attendance.
Thanks to her suicide attempt, the Grand Queen Dowager wants to make sure Bong-Hwan is forced to stay at home and not leave the palace. Given she directly challenged her authority during the incident with Hwa-Jin, this seems like a likely punishment.
Instead, Bong-Hwan asks for death but the Grand Queen Dowager confirms that it wouldn’t make any difference. It would, however, cause big problems with the Kim clan so that’s off the table.
When that doesn’t work, Bong-Hwan instead decides to play up the perfect Queen for them. However, Kim Jwa-Geun warns her and throws the embroidered cloth – the makeshift suicide note – straight into the fire.
There’s certainly no love lost from the King and Prince Youngpyeong toward her either. Given the Queen killed their whole clan, they’re biding their time and waiting for the right moment to strike.
As we cut back in time, we see Cheoljong speaking to a despairing So-Yong the night she fell in the lake. He claims to be the reason So-Yong originally jumped in the lake. His visit to Bong-Hwan doesn’t help, especially as they fight and it eventually leads to Bong-Hwan throwing her hair pin straight at the door and piercing through to the other side.
After finding the lake is being filled at the Queen’s request, Cheoljong heads back to see Hwa-Jin but is interrupted by Hong and Prince Youngpyeong. He feeds back his confusing chat with the Queen and tries to work out exactly what she’s doing.
Hwa-Jin visits O-Wol who sports busted knees and a cut lip. She claims to have heard the voices of those who took her but doesn’t know their face. Unfortunately, given she’s not able to perform her duties then she’ll need to leave the palace.
Back home, Hwa-Jin is wracked with guilt over what happened to her friend. Prince Youngpyeong arrives to see her and mentions how he visits Hong whenever he feels bad; the two obviously get on like a house on fire. Afterwards, a cramping Youngpyeong has his picture drawn by Hwa-Jin and it’s clear feelings are starting to grow between them.
Rumours circulate the palace – and just in time for a new Royal appointment. The head of the Department of Justice is now going to be Byeong-In and the court has unanimously agreed on his appointment. Cheoljong signs the agreement as this puppet King realizes he’s stuck in a position with absolutely no power.
Despite intending to be the “perfect Queen”, Bong-Hwan can’t help but get involved with the cooking after the Grand Queen Dowager’s food is sent back to the Royal Chef untouched. She’s obviously happy and excited when she leaves Bong-Hwan is cooking but tries to remain a level head nonetheless.
After eating all of her food, she learns the theme of this is “COSI”. The Grand Queen Dowager eats the entirety of the food too after the ingenious food palanquin.
Hwa-Jin is approached by Daebi who fills her in on all the atrocities the King has caused for the Kim clan. She tells Hwa-Jin it’s not too late and encourages her to help try and dethrone the Queen. As we see from flashbacks to the night at the lake, Hwa-Jin knows So-Yong tried to kill the King. As the two verbally spar, So-Yong eventually walked into the lake.
While Bong-Hwan marvels at the sudden heavy downpour, realizing it could be his way back to his other life, King Cheoljong spies her dancing out in the rain. He apologizes but Bong-Hwan is so caught up with getting back to his old life, he simply brushes aside the King’s concerns and calls him clingy. Eventually the King hands over his umbrella and tells her he won’t be sleeping in the same bed.
While the Queen continues to dance, powerful forces move to try and have her dethroned following her suicide attempt.
The Queen jumps back in the lake again when it stops raining and tries to get back to her old life. As she dives in, the King swims toward her angrily and pulls the girl to the surface.
The Episode Review
Mr Queen bows out with another decent episode this week, and the one take away here comes from Shin Hye-Sun’s acting. She’s doing an incredible job bringing Bong-Hwan’s character to life and everything from the vocal tone to the body language feels like a man stuck in a woman’s body.
The political scheming and attempts to dethrone the Queen are certainly intriguing and judging by the preview for tomorrow’s episode, it looks like we may be switching over and seeing some of So-Yong inside Bong-Hwan’s body too. This actually looks to be quite the clever contrast and it’ll be interesting to see how the show pulls that off if that’s what’s going to happen.
In the meantime, the show continues to deliver good laughs across its extended 80 minute episodes. While it isn’t quite as funny as those earlier in the run, Mr Queen is nonetheless a decent comedic option. It’ll be interesting to see if some of this subdued comedy is a result of that early season criticism but to be honest, most kdramas go this way so I’m not surprised.
Despite that though, Mr Queen is a fun and vibrant body-swap drama that looks set to continue delivering decent drama in the episodes ahead.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|