The King: Eternal Monarch – Episode 10 Recap & Review


Following yesterday’s dramatic cliffhanger, The King: Eternal Monarch returns in a big way with an action-packed 70 minutes that help to flesh out more of this world and give some crucial screen-time to Lee Lim himself. Lee Jung-Jin plays this cold and calculated man to perfection and he steals every scene he’s in. As we start to approach the business end of this drama now, Eternal Monarch is really starting to come into its own and this world-hopping drama ends on quite the dramatic note, along with hints that time travel is starting to come into this now, as predicted weeks ago when time froze.

Episode 10 of The King: Eternal Monarch begins in Korea as Shin-Jae talks to a therapist about his situation. As he does, we cut back to see Tae-Eul and Shin-Jae together eating at a food stall and talking about Corea. She discusses Sang-Do still being alive and the doppelgangers. As they continue to eat, she eventually asks him for help but he walks away, refusing to entertain the notion of there being a second world.

Instead, Tae-Eul walks to the portal and greets Lee-Gon as he heads back through from the other side. As he does, she sees the balloon fly away (symbolic to what happens later on, which we’ll discuss at the end!) and throws her arms around him, embracing Lee Gon tightly. With Lunar New Year on the way, Tae-Eul speaks to Jo-Young about his situation, explaining how Eun-Sup is also probably having a tough time. Back home, his siblings raise suspicions around how “cool” Eun-Sup suddenly is and as they leave, he comments on how inquisitive they are.

In Corea, Lee Gon returns in time for the Lunar New Year celebrations, quizzing the staff over what day it is, and wishes everyone a Happy New Year. With a year left of Koo’s term, she works hard to try and win over Lee Gon by asking Ok-Nam how she can woo him. She remains tight-lipped though and not long after, Eun-Sup receives a call and it brings him to the police station with the King.

It’s here they’re shown information about Luna before turning their attention to Gi-Hwan, the man Lee Gon captured and threw in the palace dungeon last episode. Only, it turns out he took his own life and is registered as dead. That means the man Lee Gon’s captured is actually his counterpart from Korea.

After finding this out and watching the lanterns starting to fall, Lee Gon races off to the portal as everything freezes around him. Inquiring with the guards, he finds out that Lee Lim hasn’t passed through the portal either way meaning he must be using a different location to jump worlds. At a guess, it seems like he’s using the bookstore but for now, that remains a mystery.

Realizing he’s missing a crucial part of this puzzle, Lee Gon calls the guards back to the Palace before racing into town where we catch up with the scenes from the previous episode; Lee Gon comes face to face with the traitor Lee Lim.

Before seeing their showdown, we cut back in time and see more of their conversation on the phone, with Lee Lim challenging him to meet. This catches us up to the present as Lee Lim’s followers hold several bystanders up at knife-point. Lee Gon tells his men to hold their fire but Lee Lim’s men don’t do the same. Eun-Sup spots the bullet and sacrifices himself to prevent the King from being shot, taking the bullet himself.

As Lee Gon controls the situation and calls the guards to care for the injured, Lee Gon tries to awaken Eun-Sup. In the aftermath of the shoot-out, Lee Lim starts to trend on social media and it brings Koo into thinking the rumours of him being alive are true. As word of this gets round to the coffee shop the Prince is visiting, he learns about the King being shot at and races back. Thankfully, Eun-Sup’s bulletproof vest prevents there being a more serious injury to him beyond a few bruises.

Back at the palace, Koo phones through and speaks to Lee Gon about the possibility of Lee Lim still being alive. Realizing this could be made out to be a political scandal, Lee Gon instead decides to spin the story that this was simply Lee Lim’s followers conducting an act of terrorism. Given the state of panic gripping the kingdom, Lee Gon tells Secretary Mo to call a press conference to quell any concerns.

In Korea, Jo-Young and Tae-Eul visit Yeon-Ji in prison and ask who gave her the phone. She acts shifty though and refuses to meet their gaze. It’s enough for the duo to realize they may be onto something. Later that evening, Shin-Jae and Tae-Eul sit together and discuss Corea, including all the differences there compared to here. As they keep talking, Shin-Jae opens up and we learn more about him, including his intuition that he knew Lee Gon’s name before he told them, meaning he’s starting to understand where he’s really from.

In the aftermath of this, Tae-Eul heads back to the hotel room and greets Jo-Young with food. As they discuss Lee Lim and traveling back and forth between worlds, Jo-Young asks whether she’ll be able to handle the worlds being separated forever and Lee-Gon moving on and marrying the Queen just like tradition expects. It’s something she clearly hadn’t thought about before and the revelation certainly gets her thinking.

Back in Corea, a blood-stained Lee Lim arrives in the palace and confronts the Prince. He promises to choke his nephew and take Manpasiljok for himself but before he goes, he kills the Prince and leaves him in a heap on the ground.

Secretary Mo returns to the King’s chambers and breaks the bad news to him about the Prince. While the funeral takes place, we’re graced with a hard cut to Korea as we see Lee Gon greeting Tae-Eul one more time with a bouquet of flowers and saying his goodbyes. Before he goes, he tells her he loves her deeply – something he had difficulty saying earlier in the season. As he walks away from her after their fated kiss, Tae-Eul is left with the flowers and falls to the ground, sobbing uncontrollably, which is where the episode ends.

There’s a lot of unanswered questions here, including who the boy with the yo-yo is (I’m wagering a guess that it’s Shin-Jae) and Lee Gon’s different appearances but one thing seems almost certain – Lee Gon is jumping through time and we may be experiencing a different Lee Gon every time he’s jumping through the portal.

The red balloon floating away is certainly interesting, perhaps even symbolic to Lee Gon “letting go” of Tae-Eul in Korea at the end of the episode. It seems likely that the Lee Gon at the end is one that’s already time travelled and it backs up the earlier scenes with Ok-Nam when he asked whether he “made it back in time” and what the date was.

Much like Netflix’s German mind-bender Dark, The King: Eternal Monarch feels like a show that’s set up for a binge-watch. There are so many little hints dotted through the episodes that time travel is involved (the “white rabbit” being chased, the mystery man/woman in the throne room etc.) that trying to remember all of this each week is pretty difficult.

Thankfully, we’re starting to reach the business end of the series now and it seems likely that everything is going to start slotting into place soon. Some of the subplots have still gone unexplained (Lee Lim’s motive with the dopplegangers being switched being one of them) but there’s enough here to make for an entertaining watch nonetheless. Roll on next week’s set of episodes!

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8 thoughts on “The King: Eternal Monarch – Episode 10 Recap & Review”

  1. The old lady Noh in the Kingdom of Corea is Tae Eul. (I’m probably wrong). She chased after Lee Gon but when she got through the portal, she timed traveled instead and ended up in the past. Lee Gon wasn’t born yet. If you notice the gun she was holding in the preview, it was an old school revolver. When she was calling the palace she can’t get through because Lee Gon did not exist yet. I’m guessing, she probably got a hold of Lee Gon’s father. On the day Lee Lim decides to kill his brother, I’m thinking, Lee Gon’s father had an idea his brother was going to kill him that day.

    The book Lee Gon took from the Republic of Korea was written by Tae Eul-lady Noh. The person who “stole” Tae Eul’s ID could be the old lady herself. There was a little piece in episode 10 when lady Noh was reading from the book. It sounded like a narration of Tae Eul always waiting for Lee Gon by the Gate. Also when the prime minister asked lady Noh what type of women the king was into, lady Noh asked the prime minister if the king has ever cried in front of her. For some reason, this serves as a tiny clue towards the end of episode 10 when Lee Gon kisses Tae-Eul and tears fell from his eyes (tears fell from both of their eyes). This may also serve as a farewell after defeating Lee Lim and when Lee Gon comes out of that “time void space”, it is all too late-Tae Eul has aged significantly.

    The Lee Gon that showed up in Tae-eul’s front yard is the Lee Gon from the future. He had spent so much time in that “odd in between space”, until he finally realized that it was all too late. The ending in episode 10 may be their last farewell. It may be the time, Lee Gon ends their long distance relationship. He timed traveled back in the past to let her know his deepest love for her. While also saying his goodbye. The flowers Lee Gon gave Tae Eul was the flowers she planted in that time void space.

    Lady Noh is the Future Tae-Eul And Luna is the “exhausted-looking everywhere for Lee Gon” Tae Eul.
    Tae Eul and Lee Gon had never met in the present, it was either in the future or past. If I’m right that lady Noh is Tae Eul, then the only time they have or will ever meet in the present is in the palace. The little red envelopes that Lady Noh keeps placing in Lee Gon’s clothing serves as reminder of Tae-Eul.

    And remember when Lee Gon cooked for Tae-Eul and he said, he cooked that meal only for her one other person but didn’t have a chance to tell her? It was her whom he cooked that meal for. Perhaps Lee Gon already knew or had already ran that episode of their lives once twice or many times before. Which make sense because when he went to war with the Japanese, Lee Gon was so eager to get the war over with and was so confident that they will win (he had ran that part of his life, as well, too many time before).

    Did you also notice towards the end of the episode when all of a sudden there were sooooo many red balloons. I think Lee Gon kept going back and kept changing the past in hopes for a different future. The balloons represents the number of times Lee Gon had gone back to try to fix and solve “it”.

    No matter how much he tried to go back in the past to try and change the future he will always have the same end result-young king and aged Tae-Eul. Eventually, He realizes that no matter how many times he tries to go back and “fix it/solve it”, the outcome will always come out the same. Hence, Lee Gon puts the two halves flute, plays a tune and every being is placed back in the correct universe and everything is placed in the correct sequence of time. Lee Gon will serve as the King of Corea and Tae Eul will stay as a Detective in the Republic of Korea and who knows, maybe instead of Shin Jae-Tae Eul’s partner in crime- is Lee Gon’s Doppler ganger. I feel like the series will still end in a happy note.

    Some may say that the love development between the two doesn’t make sense and someone may ask, “the development of their love” doesn’t make sense. How can their feeling develop so fast or how can they miss each other so much when it seemed like they didnt even spend enough time together to develop that kind of deep emotional love. Maybe they did!! Each time he goes back and try to fix the past, he falls more deeply in love with her and the longing and yearning becomes greater. Hence the scene at the end of episode 10.

    If you also watch the end of episode 1, when they finally meet. The way Lee Gon looked at her feels like, that was not the first time he met her. When he said, I finally met you. Maybe he meant, “with many times that I have traveled back in time, I finally got the time right! I finally met the Tae-Eul in the right year-2019!”

  2. One thing i know is that the drama improved tremediously…. i just feel sad that the Korean domestic viewers have chosen not get behind the drama fully…
    Its certainly having alot of international buzz at the moment. International k drama fans are loving it.
    Hopefully domestically, the ratings go up in subsequent episodes.
    I agree with you it makes for a binge watch to understand it thoroughly

  3. I am es to K-Dramas…the idea of parallel worlds is great and the plot keeps you wanting more. I must say something very interesting which it happens more often than not in the performing arts and that is: suddenly the supporting actor becomes the star and it shines so much that it will over shadows all others. Sweet thing to witness… in this case Woo Do-Hwan is simply outstanding!!!!! His switching characters are superb….BARAVO !!!!

  4. I was thinking the boy is a transcendental being that keeps the “balance” starting with making Tae-yul get a new ID. When Lee Gon mentioned “fragments of time” — that means he has discovered the ripples of time in quantum mechanics that enable time travel. It is also possible that Luna is actually Tae-yul who got lost in the ripples of time & she is unable to get back to the current dimension; which makes me think that Lee Gon died at some point = hence the trailer for the next episode. Lee Gon uses the Euler’s number to keep track of time that he spends in between these dimensions so he can get back in time to keep his schedules in the kingdom. My three cents..

  5. İm Coming Again (^o^)
    Oppa You Are King Of Kdrama. Dont Worry And Dont Care Korean People Or Ratings Or Awards… You Drama İs So İmazing Me And My Family Always Watch. Love U Oppa & Bye. ❣️😅

  6. İ Really Like Drama. And Alsoo Fall İn Love With Min Ho Lee. Oppa You Are So Manly And İ Cant Waiting For New Ep. Please Dont Care Korean People Or Ratings Coz You Are #1 İn Netflix İn My Country (^o^). Love U Oppa And Fighting. We Are Support You Forever.

  7. I just hope they end up together anything else will be unacceptable to the fans

  8. I AM IN LOVE WITH THE DRAMA ando your review with some explanations. The years were very strange in the beginning ,but seems they are in both worlds in 2020 . The kings world is not so modern as the real here one! Well lets see how they gonna find a way to keep the lovers together or not.. Maybe the king will die and the world will desapear…. But we be very angry if the author kills LMH. He so much better as an actor in his 30s. And she is as very very very awesome. and a “sunbae” in all shows!!!!

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