Queenmaker – K-drama Episode 10 Recap & Review

The Illegitimate Son

Episode 10 of Queenmaker begins with massive news breaking. Jae-min’s illegitimate son and his affair are both leaked to the press, who know Ji-yeon is involved as she’s currently pregnant. Jae-min has been receiving the vote from loyal families and this news throws them right on the backfoot again, especially as it means they’re losing precious votes.

Yoon takes drastic measures and tries to cover this up completely as quick as possible. He tries to shut down all the news outlets and wants this shut down immediately. As for Do-hee, she’s like a shark that can smell blood and decides to continue on the attack, painting Jae-min as a womanizer and that Kyung-sook is completely unstoppable, using Hyun-woo’s allegations as a way of fueling Jae-min’s hypocritical stance.

Jae-min turns on Yoon and claims that it’s his fault all of this has happened. Jae0min wants to get rid of Ji-yeon but that’s not going to fly right now. There’s a ticking timebomb here and his entire career rests of Ji-yeon, whether he likes it or not.

As a result, Jae-min changes tact and decides to play up the “loving partner” role with Ji-yeon, feeding her platitudes about how strong she is and how he’ll support her. Jae-min decides they should tackle this beast together and concoct a story that they used each other to survive. Security are en-route to get her the following day, but for now she’s to sleep and relax at home.

Ji-yeon is not in the mood to sit around and twiddle her thumbs, and as she heads down to the parking lot, she’s hounded by reporters. When she leaves the building, Ji-yeon phones Jae-min and decides to talk to the press alongside him. Infront of the press, they hold a conference and feign ignorance, claiming this is slander and not true.

She’s not a homewrecker in the eyes of Yoon and the campaigners, she has a prepared statement and they’re going the route of claiming this is fake news. They even wheel out a guy pretending to be his partner and that they’re madly in love.

However, pictures begin circulating of Jae-min meeting Ji-yeon at night; another attack by Do-hee. This blows their entire meeting out the water, and as a result of all this stress, Ji-yeon passes out and is rushed to hospital. They’re hit hard, but some on Do-hee’s team show their conscience and aren’t sure if they’ve done the right thing.

Ji-yeon is a clever woman. She has a prenatal DNA test done on her child but Jae-min believes she’s getting too big for her bots and should let Ji-yeon go but Yoon believes this is a dangerous move.

Jae-min believes that her death could be looked at as a martyr against political scandal and make it look like she had no way out due to these allegations. Jae-min would get the sympathy vote, and Kyung-sook would be left in the dust. Jae-min’s humanity has gone and he intends to make Ji-yeon his personal stepping stone to greatness. Before that, he speaks up and decides to hand over half the shares for Eunsung Group’s new store via the government and through that, they can be distributed out to the people.

This is all bait to lure votes in but Chairperson Son is livid when she finds out what he’s done without her consent. Instead of allowing her to slap him in the face, this time Jae-min stops her and goes on to reveal Eunsung is in dire straights right now and they need to make good on their promises to make this election go well. Jae-min demands they all help and reminds them that the attention is squarely on him right now.

Seo-jin meets with Do-hee and reveals Jae-min has completely lost his mind. Do-hee tasks her with looking after Ji-yeon and monitor everything that’s happening with her, given Jae-min is likely to try and cover all of this up. Son cannot know about this though, urging Seo-jin to keep her poker face intact.

That night, Yoon organizes traffic and has Ji-yeon’s place hacked, including her laptop. He orchestrates the entire ordeal, including a suicide note, Ji-yeon renting a used car, and the footage of Do-hee showing up at her apartment from a while back too.

Do-hee has the smoking gun, which comes in the form of a memo involving all the different people who have been receiving bribes during the initial days of Eunsung’s big project when all the permits came in for the tower. Do-hee was in charge of all of this and it’s highly classified. She’s kept all of this under wraps for now given the sheer number of people operating against them. It would easily have been swept under the rug.

But Do-hee has also been waiting for one person who could stand up as the face of corruption and do enough to overwhelm it. That person being Kyung-sook. Do-hee would also be targeted and could potentially be killed too. Kyung-sook won’t allow that to happen, so the only bet left is for Kyung-sook to win the election.

With these elections very much on the horizon now, it all comes down to one final debate between Jae-min and Kyung-sook. Chae-ryoung shows up to see Jae-min first and tells him that she’s taking his mistress home. She questions how far he’s willing to go but Jae-min lashes out and tells her he’s doing her a favour right now, something that her mum is going to approve of. He tells Chae-ryoung to use Ji-yeon to her advantage and promises to make things right.

At the hospital, Chae-ryoung hands over the paternity test… which confirms that Jae-min is not the father. Well, not on this document anyway. It’s implied that he’s forged the whole thing. Despite that, Jae-min will use this as a justification for getting rid of her.

Ji-yeon’s bargaining chip is gone in an instant but Chae-ryoung refuses to let her die because of this. She wants Ji-yeon to be her secret weapon, deciding to protect her from death and instead, turn the tide so she’s protected. Chae-ryoung also offers to raise Ji-yeon’s child for her.

Ji-yeon agrees to the terms laid out before her, and Chae-ryoung takes her out, speaking to the press first and deciding that she’s going to support Ji-yeon… or is she? She drops off Ji-yeon in the car and tells her that this is the end of the road.

Meanwhile, Do-hee finds the security footage from the street across from the main HQ and notices Jae-min arriving and then leaving the scene without any sort of shock, right on the eve of I-seul’s death. She realizes that this means Jae-min killed I-seul. The same thing is going to happen to Ji-yeon too, given she’s been taken by Jae-min’s men. She figures out what’s going to happen on the road and attempts to escape but she’s drugged and knocked out on the backseat.

News of Ji-yeon’s death is scheduled to drop during the big debate, which will essentially usurp their chances of getting the election. “Game over,” Yoon says confidently.

The Episode Review

The penultimate episode of Queenmaker sees all the pieces slowly come together now as Ji-yeon’s life is hanging in the balance. She’s been playing a dangerous game for a while now and unfortunately, Jae-min and Yoon are just too experienced and ruthless, and she’s going to suffer for it.

The election itself has been interesting, although the drama has been dragged out now across so many episodes. The back and forth rapport with scandals and allegations, swinging that see-saw up and down between the two parties, could have potentially been cut down in length and I’m failing to see how this needed 11 episodes to tell the story here.

Despite that though, there’s enough here to sink your teeth into and Queenmaker has set everything up nicely for the final chapter to follow.

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You can read our full season review for Queenmaker here!


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