Two Worlds, One Fate
After yesterday’s slow character-builder, The King: Eternal Monarch returns today for a much more plot-heavy episode, one that starts to piece together what’s happening while leaving plenty of tantalizing questions hanging over this one. The ending will almost certainly keep you sticking around for the next episode and there’s lot of teasing hints dotted throughout that feel like they’ll hold up to repeat viewings when the full season is out.
Episode 4 of The King: Eternal Monarch begins in the Kingdom of Corea as Lee Lim experiences the time freezes first-hand. Thanks to him holding part of the flute he’s immune to its effects. Even more peculiar than that however occurs when time unfreezes. Jo Young and Eun-Seup both experience their cup being hot at the same time in the parallel worlds.
Prime Minister Koo arrives at the palace to check on Lee Gon and make sure he’s not missing. She bursts into the room and sees him standing with Jo-Young, who found him earlier in the words. They discuss his “puzzle” and she smirks, telling him he’s indebted to her now before walking away. After Ok-Nam berates Lee-Gon for leaving, she tends to his jacket and notices the BBQ chicken coupon and the book of poetry, labelled “Poems of Kim So-Wol”, in the pocket.
Prime Minister Koo watches secret footage of Congressman Park bad-mouthing her and sets to work making him pay for it. She sends incriminating photos of him involved in a scandalous affair to the media and as the news spreads, she begins to tighten her grip over the administration.
Lee Lim starts to figure out that his nephew can jump through time while Lee Gon himself faces the past and looks upon the place his Father was killed – in particular the sword that lies there. Heading back to the palace, time stops again but this time Lee Gon counts the seconds to try and work out if there’s some sort of pattern.
As it starts to rain and lightning crackles across the sky, Lee Gon once again starts to feel pain in his shoulder back at the palace. Jo-Young watches his veins crackle orange just as this happens, and as the Head of Security dashes out the room Lee Gon takes his opportunity to snatch up the flute and leave.
In the Republic of Korea, Tae-Eul refuses to let the Sang-Mi murder trial go and tells the captain she’s going to crack his 2G phone, which will take 2 weeks. The Captain agrees to let her pursue this but warns her that if she hasn’t found anything in that time then she and Shin-Jae will be out. Thankfully, she manages to track down a lead and arrests Kim Su-Jin after finding a red wallet up for sale online.
Shin-Jae confronts his Mother when she returns home and finds a whole stack of cash hidden up her skirt. Realizing she clearly stole this through illegal gambling, Shin-Jae forces her to bring the bag back to its origin, with Jangmi joining him in order to snap photos of the operation. When the boss arrives, Shin-Jae realizes this could cause some serious ramifications for him but he follows through with the arrest.
Meanwhile, a little boy on a bike knocks Tae-Eul’s ID out of her hands and it falls down the drain. Realizing this may fit with the prophetic narrative, this is reinforced further in the form of the Corean notes, which she learns are actually real and water-marked.
Tae-Eul heads back in to the station and realizes the dates for her replacement card coincides with what she’s been told by Lee Gon. As she sits in stunned silence, she receives a call from Lee Gon himself and she immediately races off where she finds herself face to face with the King. She questions him about the ID card, and he tells her exactly what she was wearing the day of the photo. He takes her hand and convinces her to come with him so she can see the card for herself. Riding on Maximus, they make their way into the forest and he races through the portal to the other side – to Corea.
With a drip feed of information this episode and lots of hints at what may be going on, it appears the time jumps are linked with Lee Gon and Lee Lim jumping through the portal. Could it be that the time freezes are linked to the moment they jump to the other side? It certainly looks that way but it doesn’t explain what happened to Jo-Young and Eun-Seop and their inexplicably linked senses. Could the realities be breaking down thanks to these constant jumps?
The inevitable romance between Tae-Eul and Lee Gon is starting to actually take shape now and with Tae-Eul in Corea and seeing the King in his natural surroundings, what will this mean for our steely detective? There’s lots of unanswered questions hanging over this one but right now the show is certainly building up a nice layer of questions for the season ahead. Quite where this one goes next though, remains to be seen.