We begin episode 9 of Mr Queen with Byeong-In walking in on Cheoljong kissing Bong-Hwan. As they move into the bedroom and start knocking items over, Byeong-In retreats but decides to stick around and keep watch outside.
Back inside, Bong-Hwan slaps himself in the face, claiming that So-Yong is trying to control her own body again. Eventually the King manages to put Bong-Hwan down to sleep, gently telling the Queen that he’s not able to tell the difference between a dream and reality.
With the Queen asleep, Bong-Hwan tries to break into the hidden compartment in Lord Kim’s study. With a lockpick in hand, he eventually manages to break the lock. Only, the ledgers he’s looking for are gone and no longer there. Instead, he heads outside and learns that actually it’s wedged halfway down the well.
Byeong-In meanwhile, sneaks in the hallways but hears giggling coming from Bong-Hwan while he’s asleep. Believing it’s him and the King together, he leaves but struggles to control how disappointed he is.
In the morning, Bong-Hwan and Cheoljong both wake up and pretend they had a hot and steamy night. Only, when she sees the mess around the room they’re in, she suspects something more but remains quiet. As she and Cheoljong sit together, they both have very different plans for the day ahead; Cheoljong wants to get the ledger while Bong-Hwan is determined to get back to the palace.
Grand Queen Dowager speaks to Jwa-Geun and demands to know when Bong-Hwan is set to return. Her stomach is rumbling and she misses his food. In a bid to make sure she’s not troubled by the Queen’s delicious food, Jwa-Geun suggests she have the cooks learn her methods.
Meanwhile, the two different sets of guards clash with Byeong-In leading the red team and Prince Youngpyeong holding the blue. As they all brandish swords, Byeong-In convinces Prince Youngpyeong to step aside and allow the search of the grounds to commence. Eventually he does just that, as Byeong-In stares Youngpyeong down.
After the search, Cheoljong approaches Hong and tells him about the goblin-masked assassin from the previous night. He tasks him with learning more while vowing to bring the ledger back that very evening, telling him in confidence that this is when they’ll make their move.
As he heads outside, Cheoljong rejects the Grand Queen Dowager’s request to join her at the palace and decides to stay with Bong-Hwan for another night to make sure she’s okay.
Court Lady Choi walks past the royal kitchen just as Man-Bok heads out and sees her. He hands over a twig, something that seems to be a present of sorts, but Choi believes he’s just handed over trash. Holding it away from her face, she walks away from the kitchen commenting how weird the chef is being lately.
Queen Sunwon happens to be in a good mood though, partly thanks to what she’s learned down by the lake last episode. Her conversation with jealous Hwa-Jin brought some intriguing revelations that she likens to a poisoned arrow.
The Queen takes Cheoljong out to taste food from the local hotspots. Whilst there though, they overhear some of the civilians talking about how rotten and awful the King is. Cheoljong entertains them and sits, listening to their concerns with the men unaware that he’s actually the King. He joins in a little, clearly intending to gauge what the common folk think of him, but things take an unfortunate turn.
The people talk about how bad the King is and even begin badmouthing his family. This last part is a step too far for Bong-Hwan who heads over and scolds them for talking smack about Cheoljong’s family. When they ask who she is, Bong-Hwan simply tells them that he’s in the King’s fan-club. He even threatens to flip the table if they continue on like this.
Eventually he and Cheoljong leave together, discussing the different between fans and “antifans” and what Bong-Hwan was doing.
In an alleyway, Bong-Hwan and Cheoljong run into trouble when a gang show up. While the former scarpers and hurries away, Bong-Hwan realizes this could potentially change history if the King dies and comes rushing back to help. Well, he needn’t have worried given Bong-Hwan knocks out the leader and switches clothes with him as a disguise.
Back at the palace, an unhappy Kim Jwa-Geun begrudgingly hands over the medicine to his assassin, Sal-Soo. Struggling to breathe and with shaky hands, Sal-Soo promises to pay him back as Jwa-Geun warns that his patience is growing thin.
That evening, the Grand Queen Dowager decides she wants a snack but the eunuch is unsure the royal chef will be able to cook it. Man-Bok is determined to prove him wrong though and sets to work trying again and again and again to get the recipe right. With no more milk left to take from the cows, Man-Bok despairs.
Cheoljong’s sketch of the Goblin mask sees Hong head up to the local mask shop to try and find a match. Dressed with a fake moustache and a new disguise, he manages to fool everyone and learn a little more about its origin.
When Hong returns home, Hwan shows up looking glum. He bemoans the fact he has to choose between family and love, eventually weeping and falling into a hug with his friend.
Meanwhile, Bong-Hwan heads back home and feels awful stomach pains. It turns out the Queen is on her period and that causes him to sink to his knees in despair.
Finally we see what happened during the fateful day at the well. Cheoljong is told to stay put but clearly remains worried about his Mother. While this is being shown, we cut back in time and see Cheoljong trying to find the ledger. Only, the lid of the well is put back on again while he’s looking, causing the King to begin panicking. He writes it off as fear of the mind but clearly there’s deep psychological wounds here.
In the past, we see So-Yong studying on the anniversary of her Mum. She sits with Hwa-Jin and they discuss their changing fates. Eventually So-Yong heads down the well and sits opposite the King, convincing him to cry and let it all out. When So-Yong is taken out the well, her Father decided to place stones on top trapping Cheoljong inside.
So-Yong pleaded with Byeong-In to help, eventually convincing him to remove the stones and free Cheoljong from his prison. Only, a noise from outside prompted them to bolt before opening it up and letting him go free. Instead, Hwa-Jin posed as So-Yong and took the book from his hands – that same book Hwa-Jin is now clearly holding in the present.
As the episode closes out, Bong-Hwan heads out and finds Cheoljong in the well.
The Episode Review
Mr Queen returns this week and we finally see what happened to Cheoljong and just why the well is such a pit of despair for him. It’s also intriguing to see the story between So-Yong and Hwa-Jin too, with the layter posing as the fake So-Yong so she can take the book. It’s a nicely ironic sentiment, especially when you consider Hwa-Jin still feels like she’s living in the shadow of the Queen.
Elsewhere, the various subplots continue to tick over with Man-Bok’s cooking, his possible romance with Lady Choi and the political scheming from the Grand Queen Dowager and Queen Dowager continuing to bubble up in the background.
So far, Mr Queen has done well to keep things intriguing and the ending certainly leaves the door wide open for where this one may go next.