Queenmaker – K-drama Episode 2 Recap & Review

The Bloodhound

Episode 2 of Queenmaker begins with us back outside Eunsung building. Do-hee is in shock as all the employees head outside and see the carnage for themselves. As Do-hee is taken back inside, she checks her email and notices I-seul has left a message. I-seul admits that everything is true but she’s never sold her body.

She had trouble making ends meet, with the bank refusing her a loan and the only way she had to try and help her sick mother was to go and work at the bar.

I-seul refuses to give up on the sexual assault that Jae-min committed and tells Do-hee to remember the one fact of the matter – she is the only one who knows about the affair. And she’s the one who has the power to tear Eunsung apart… or keep them together.

Do-hee heads off to meet Jae-min and hands over the cufflink. Jae-min feigns ignorance and claims he doesn’t know anything. Do-hee decides to keep all bases covered, to find out what really drove I-seul to do this, and that comes from checking Jae-min’s phone. His other phone, that he keeps inside his jacket.

Do-hee suddenly realizes that the phone she was initially shown is a fake and Jae-min has been playing her like a fiddle. Jae-min shrugs it off and claims this is simply “trivial” and that some girls are just fragile, which is a big turn off. Jae-min scoffs at Do-hee when she brings up that I-seul died because she was assaulted.

Do-hee feels sick, but Jae-min points out the hypocrisy of it all, given Do-hee has been working as their fixer-upper all this time, sweeping Eunsung’s horrific acts under the carpet but only now she’s growing a conscience. The whole front with him working as a humanitarian is just an act and Do-hee now sees the true horrors that this company inflicts on others.

Do-hee realizes that the Chairperson’s method for getting Kyung-sook off the rooftop could well spell disaster, and she decide that no one else is going to die on her watch. She speeds up to the building, unaware that officers have organized a block-wide blackout and intend to take Kyung-sook out by force.

The righteous guy in the hallway from the last episode is called Dong-joo, and he’s one of the only people wise enough to realize that things are awry. He heads to the building and fights his way through a bunch of goons that show, sealing himself inside and hurrying to the roof.

When masked men show up and look set to take Kyung-sook down, Do-hee races in and tells them to stop. However, the men don’t listen and Do-hee tries to protect her. However, she tumbles off the roof and Kyung-sook ends up crashing down before the protestors.

As a result of this, Kyung-sook becomes a martyr and a beacon of hope for the workers. Her social media explodes, while #Oh_never_die begins trending. Thankfully, Kyung-sook survives the fall but she’s in a rough way, sporting a neck brace, a broken arm and multiple cuts and bruises.

Do-hee also wakes up in hospital sporting a nasty bruise over her head. However, this rooftop stunt has turned against Eunsung in a big way, becoming a huge PR disaster as people begin boycotting the stores.

Jae-min decides they need to take drastic measures to protect the company, and believes they should reinstate all the workers. That way, they can quiet down public sentiment, get the public on their side and stop this dissent once and for all. Chairwoman Son heads up and slaps Jae-min in the face. This comes from his backhanded notion of getting rid of Chae-ryoung and he pays the price for it.

Jae-min plays his part well, showing up at I-seul’s funeral next and apologizing for what’s happened. He claims to her mother that he should have done more and then faces Do-hee, tapping her shoulder hard and telling her she’s worked hard lately. Do-hee is visibly startled and doesn’t know where else to turn. She knows that Jae-min is a real piece of work, and soon learns that Jae-min actually cheated on his wife a day before his wedding. He really is an awful person.

Ji-yeon shows up at the hospital on behalf of the Eunsung Group and suggests they rehire all the workers, apologizing for what’s happened between them. The offer lands well with her, but when Ji-yeon shows to feed the news back to Jae-min, he wraps his slimy tentacles around Ji-yeon and begins kissing her.

Chairwoman Son meets with the Mayor, who points out that he’s number 2 in Korea. Son fires back that all the money she’s paid to get her development project running, has resulted in a stalemate between them. Soon, the attention turns to slander and political point scoring. The prosecution immediately go after Mayor Sa’s younger son, who has been hosting drug-fueled parties and,  realizing that his family are in danger, decides to resign. In doing so, this immediately puts Jae-min in line to become the Mayor.

Before that though, Jae-min makes a big spectacle and decides to paint himself as a hero and someone who wants to work with Kyung-sook. She falls for his charade, as he heads on TV all smiles and laughs, knowing that this puts him in a good stead to become the Mayor with little competition.

Do-hee is conflicted and knows that Jae-min is a horrible person. However, the Chairwoman tells Do-hee that she’s on a quest to make him mayor regardless of her own personal feelings. This is what she needs to do to get back in the good graces of the company.

Do-hee looks over Son’s bloodhound, standing by her side loyally, and she shakes her head, refusing. This is one step too far and it seems she’s on a mission now to go up against Eunsung Group.

The Episode Review

It’s now clear where the trajectory of this series is going and in a way, it bears some similarities to other revenge-based K-dramas like The Glory and Eve. Do-hee is far more likable this time around, and we she finally sees the horrific core of Eunsung Group. Although to be fair, one could argue that Do-hee has seen this already with Chae-ryoung’s abuse. However, Jae-min’s nonchalant attitude to the whole abuse and death situation is a step too far for her.

The rest of the series, I’d imagine, is going to see Do-hee and Kyung-sook working together to try and oust Jaemin from his position as Mayor, which almost seems like a certainty now.

Either way, this is a vastly improved episode compared to the first, with clear battle lines drawn and plenty of intrigue to come across the remaining episodes.

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