Queenmaker – K-drama Episode 7 Recap & Review

Throwing In The Towel

Episode 7 of Queenmaker begins with Kyung-sook and Dong-joo heading in to see Hwa-soo, who’s on her own in her room, in a hotel, ashamed by outing her colleague and friend. Kyung-sook begins chanting a familiar tune that they both used to sing together, and it’s enough to cause her to begin crying in her room.

Kyung-sook continues so long that the security originally there decide to leave her to it, while she’s advised to leave and focus on Do-hee, who also wants to hear from Kyung-sook too. She shows up at the funeral and tells her she doesn’t need to do this herself, and hugs Do-hee. The whole group sit and drink together, while Do-hee and Kyung-sook share a moment, as Kyung-sook promises that she’s not alone anymore.

Hwa-soo wants to leave and be with her husband who’s sick, and eventually Joong-seok allows it. She’s dropped off back home, where Kyung-sook is there waiting. She points out the pact they both made together, but Hwa-soo claims that Kyung-sook did all this to progress her own career. Kyung-sook shows compassion in Hwa-soo and hands over the gloves and the scarf. It’s enough for Hwa-soo to open up and admit that she’s the one who misused the funds and apologizes for ruining everything.

Back at the office in the morning, Do-hee brings up the reports and decides to take a look at how they’re getting on, diving back into the saddle for Kyung-sook’s campaign. They’re 20% down and if this continues, they’ll be in for a pummeling. Do-hee decides they need to do a press conference – and quickly. This time, with Kyung-sook and Hwa-soo together.

Before they go ahead with this, Kyung-sook looks over her old office and reminisces on the past. Given how ugly this entire campaign has turned, she debates over whether to give up on the election completely. Do-hee is shocked but Kyung-sook brings up Hwa-soo’s condition and how she feels guilty for convincing her friend to stand up for injustice, only for this to be used against her.

Do-hee tries to reason with her, bringing up all the other women that are currently standing by her side and wanting her to do right by them. She tells Kyung-sook that Hwa-soo can’t be the reason she ends up trampling all the hopes and dreams of other women. Do-hee is not about to let this one go lying down, and promises that she’s going to keep fighting in the election.

Meanwhile, Jae-min continues to win over the masses, acting charismatically and heading on radio shows and playing up the loving husband angle. He’s got really good showmanship and he’s a hit with the ladies too. When a woman drops off a ripe permission, he points out he can’t eat them anymore, because back then his father hung himself on the tree they used to pick them from and as such, he’s been carrying the memories of this with him the whole time.

This is actually news to Chae-ryoung who wasn’t even aware of this. She comforts her husband later than night, as he cries in her arms. Tellingly, Ji-yeon is left on her own but she checks over a pregnancy test and yep, she’s pregnant! Oh no!

News breaks that Hwa-soo attempted to kill herself in hospital and Kyung-sook shows up to see her. She’s thankfully still alive but Do-hee sees the damage front and center and has had her eyes opened to the injustices going on here. She drops off the cufflink on the desk and the pair finally decide to end this.

Kyung-sook decides to pack her things up and throw in the towel. As she publicly announces this, there’s sudden interference across the audio as a recording of Min-jung conspiring to kill Hwa-soo is heard. Kyung-sook is livid, especially as she realizes that actually, Hwa-soo didn’t commit suicide like she thought. As a result of this, she decides to continue her fight, deciding to keep going until the bitter end.

Do-hee races up to the audio room to figure out who’s inside…but it’s actually Joong-seok! What a shocking turn of events! He does the righteous thing and ousts Min-jung as the horrible schemer that she is. He shows up to see Min-jung next and tells her she should resign. He’s opened his eyes now and believes Kyung-sook shouldn’t be infected by him.

Seo Min-jung is basically done now and Kyung-sook is the real opposition to Jae-min, and decides to push forward with doing everything she can to clear her image and win this election.

Speaking of elections, Jae-min is certainly feeling the heat from Yoon. He brings up how naïve the guy is, including how he withdrew crucial information about I-seul and Do-hee’s involvement in this. Yoon decides to look further into Do-hee’s past but gives a stern assessment of Jae-min’s amateur stance toward this. The guy has more than a few secrets and although everyone believes I-seul commit suicide, that may not be accurate.

The reality is that Jae-min was behind all of this from the start and actually spoke to I-seul up on the rooftop. I-seul promised to leave but only under condition of a public apology. We don’t actually see the push but Ji-yeol comes in and tells Jae-min she had the CCTV footage deleted that day, which seems to confirm as much.

Chae-ryoung is under fire once more, this time with news circulating about her being accused of illegally hiring foreign nannies and exploiting them. One of those happens to be Angela, a woman whose life was completely ruined by Chae-ryoung solely due to her speaking Korean to the child.

As news of this circulates, Jae-min’s reputation starts to dwindle and deteriorate in the news. As a way of getting this back, Jae-min pounds the streets once more, this time speaking about the redevelopment and doing right by the people. Kyung-sook uses this against him and urges the people not to fall for his lies about the redevelopment, likening him to a snake oilman and urging him to make the right choice

As the episode comes to a close, Jae-min’s latest rally comes to a shocking conclusion. A boy arrives and stabs him with a Stanley Knife, and then the scene cuts to Kyung-sook, who looks at the camera knowingly.

The Episode Review

Did Kyung-sook organize for the kid to show up at Jae-min’s rally and stab him? It certainly looks that way given the ending of the chapter but we’ll have to wait and see. The entire chapter does dwindle a bit and is designed specifically to have those plot beats about giving up and then coming back stronger.

It’s a trope that’s used a lot in these sort of dramas and whilst the sentiment is nice, I have a hard time believing that the woman who did a hunger strike and came under fire from all those scandals in the past would just throw in the towel like that because Hwa-soo was caught in the firing line. It just seems a tad contrived, but maybe that’s just me.

Beyond that though, the episode does a great job developing the continued bond between Do-hee and Kyung-sook, who have a strong sisterhood going on that’s been developing nicely over the course of the season.

It’s also good to see more of a human side to Jae-min, as his past seems to show why he’s so twisted, cruel and bitter. I’m not excusing his actions of course, he deserves to be put in his place, bur at the same time it’s nice we got that background to explain his twisted perspective on life.

The second half of this drama certainly looks like it’s going to step up a gear, and it’s anyone’s guess at this point exactly how this one is going to play out!

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You can read our full season review for Queenmaker here!

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