Queenmaker – K-drama Episode 9 Recap & Review

The See-Saw Battle For Power

Episode 9 of Queenmaker begins with the campaign rally heating up as Kyung-sook and Jae-min both try to persuade the masses to vote for them in the upcoming elections. Unfortunately, Kyung-sook’s son is a sticking point here, given he’s been caught on camera beating a kid up in an alleyway.

Kyung-sook races to the police station where she finds Hyun-woo with a few cuts, and the other kid sporting a nasty black eye and horrible injuries. The boy, Gyeong-min. claims it was a one-sided fight and he did nothing to provoke Hyun-woo but not all the facts have been established yet. Hyun-woo lashes out at his mum, telling her she only cares because of her election, not for his own livelihood.

When the subject of money is brought up, the family believe Kyung-sook is trying to bribe them and they hurriedly leave. This is not the end of this story. According to Kyung-sook’s husband, Moon-bok, Hyun-woo actually had blood on his uniform a few days back so this is an ongoing situation.

Ji-yeon stands before Jae-min’s team and informs them that in two days, the blackout period will begin. This is when indifferent or shy voters come out to cast their vote. Yoon intends to use this period as a crucial time to release the information about Hyun-woo and persuade voters to change their opinion of Kyung-sook going into this period of time.

Do-hee is suspicious of the filming and the way this fight occurred spontaneously, and contemplates whether it could have been as set up. The footage has been spreading incredibly fast and the police were quick to the scene too. Joong-seok shares that sentiment that this is a malicious attack and believes Hyun-woo has been set up.

Unfortunately, the boy is going to press charges and this whole incident has been passed over to the prosecutor to handle. In fact, they’re pushing that this was an attempted murder. The reporters are ravenous for details, and they’re even prepared to violate the Juvenile Act too to get what they want, snapping photos of Hyun-woo and claiming that they’ll just blur his photo. Unfortunately, the only way out of this is for Kyung-sook to resign her candidacy. If she does that, then Ji-yeon gleefully promises that the charges will be dropped.

Do-hee decides to go on the attack, realizing that there’s no way back from this. Yoon’s blow is lethal, and they even go so far as to claim Hyun-woo sexually assaulted someone. The reality is that Hyun-woo lashed out because doctored photos of Kyung-sook have been circulating and all the kids have been attacking him on social media.

Joong-seok has done his homework and traced the traffic coming to Hyun-woo’s alt-account he’sbeen using online and he know knows that the kids have been working on Hyun-woo’s social media as a part-time job. A job clearly given to them by Yoon and Jae-min. All the kids were roped into doing this to get at Kyung-sook and use her family as a weapon.

Kyung-sook now understands why her son lashed out and visits him at the prosecution office, apologizing for what happened and how he was used as a tool in the election. Kyung-sook is done and she’s going to resign for him. Hyun-woo is not happy and tells her she can’t give up. She needs to win the election in order to prove all the haters and naysayers wrong.

As a result of this, and with her family’s support, Kyung-sook decides that from now on she’s going to do everything Do-hee tells her to, molding her into the queen she needs to be to face the oncoming storm.

Yoon is confident that Kyung-sook’s campaign has been destroyed and it’s relatively smooth sailing from now on. But then there’s the subject of Chae-ryoung, who has been a wildcard since the first episode. With the upcoming elections and the plans for the general store officially opening when Jae-min becomes Mayor, all of this is hanging by a thread – especially if Kyung-sook finds out that the store has been built on layers of corruption. Layers of corruption that she’s fully aware of.

Everyone is told to leave the room, as Chairperson Son and Chae-ryoung come face to face. She’s never been Son’s favourite daughter, given she was an illegitimate daughter but she was always under the assumption that she was going to be Eunsung Group’s owner. Now that Chairperson Son has snubbed her, Chae-ryoung intends to blackmail her. She’ll expose it all, including Jae-min’s illegitimate child, unless she become the owner, in which case she’ll keep her mouth shut and do everything she can to make sure Jae-min gets into office. Son concedes and promises to do what she wants from now on.

Do-hee is prepared to do whatever she can to win this election, even using Seo-jin, Chae-ryoung’s sister, to try and get money for the campaign in exchange for allowing her to rise to the top of Eunsung Group. It all comes down to this familial struggle, and all these players are wrestling for control.

Next, Do-hee shows up to see Gyeong-min, the kid that Hyun-woo beat up. In hospital, Do-hee brings up the doctored photo of Kyung0wook that he posted online, and promises that life is about to become very difficult for him.

She promises to expose everything he’s done whatever college he applies to, and when he gets married, she’ll bring up the picture to his wife too, making sure to ruin his life like he tried to ruin Hyun-woo’s. Before she leaves, Gyeong-min suddenly opens up and reveals that they were all given in-game coins in exchange for posting information on social media.

All of this goes back to Candidate Yook, a man who sponsored Jae-min and rallied behind him. Do-hee has all the evidence she needs to hurt his career… but he doesn’t play ball. He claims that the election is already over. As he chuckles and walks away, Do-hee brings up her secret weapon – she knows about Yook’s affair and she has all the details about her.

As a result, Yook does an emergency press conference and outs Gyeong-min and, by extension, Jae-min and Yoon’s team. This whole game comes back and blows up in Eunsung Group’s faces and he even puts his support behind Kyung-sook too, as the final nail in the coffin.

Kyung-sook next delivers a public apology soon after, talking about how violence is not the answer and it’s not the world she wants to build. She’s going to overcome hate and walk this path toward becoming Mayor, asking everyone to give her a chance.

The Episode Review

The tide finally turns as Do-hee’s plan comes into full effect. The way she’s managed to turn things over to her side, all whilst systematically destroying Jae-min’s chances in the election, is pretty satisfying and it’s clear now that this is going to be a tight-run affair.

The drama involving Hyun-woo finally comes to a close, and it’s done in a pretty satisfying way, especially their chat in the police station as Hyun-woo tells his mum to keep fighting.

With two episodes left, it really is all to play for now as the election looks set to consume all our characters. Who will win? Who will lose? I’m sure we’ll find out in the upcoming chapters!

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