Episode 14 of The King’s Affection begins with Ji-Un conceding and asking his father for help. He wants a way back into the palace in order to protect Hwi. Well, his father approaches the Left State Councilor and bargains with him, pointing out that he’s been loyal and now it’s his turn.
Ji-Un is granted his position and he goes about it with little fuss, refusing to speak up despite numerous unfavorable reports from Sangjeonwon regarding Ki-Tae’s awful politics. All of them are ignored of course, as Ji-Un takes these documents across to the King’s chambers. This also serves as a decent front for him helping to patch up Hwi’s wound.
As Ji-Un looks set to leave, Ha-Kyung bounces into the room. With a love letter in hand, she forgets her etiquette in the wake of her excitement and knocks Ji-Un down. It’s an awkward encounter, and one that she’s quickly reprimanded for by the court maids.
Later that evening, Ha-Kyung is delighted to receive a letter back from the King with confirmation of a date to meet. Court Lady Kim is obviously concerned but thanks to the Left State Councilor demanding Hwi focus on producing an heir and getting married, Hwi has little choice in the matter.
They meet up that night but Hwi encourages the naive woman to lie and pretend that they’ve slept together, giving the false pretense of being a normal couple to the rest of the world Of course, we know why Hwi is doing this but for Ha-Kyung, it’s a heartbreaking moment that makes her feel like she’s not wanted.
In the morning, Hwi meets the Grand Queen Dowager alongside Ha-Kyung. They feign ignorance as Hwi works on something much bigger with Commander Yoon.
In secret, she intends to investigate the Minister of Taxation, who seems to be transporting weapons using cargo ships to his own private army. Is he staging a coup? Either way, Ji-Un happens to be outside listening in and he notices patrolling guards show just as Hwi leaves.
With the guards gone, Ji-Un heads back to the palace and helps tend to Hwi’s wounds. He implores her to keep applying ointment but the important thing is, she’s almost on the mend.
As he leaves the King’s chambers, Hyun shows up and the two share a drink. He admits to Ji-Un that he knows Hwi is a woman and he has affection for her too. He’s kept it all to himself for years and urges Ji-Un to do the same thing, pointing out that this sort of forbidden love can turn really ugly if pursued.
In the morning, Ji-Un overhears the Minister of Taxation discussing cargo ships and immediately thinks back to the conversation Hwi was having the previous night. For now, this continues to simmer in the background.
Hwi and Ji-Un chat in secret out in the palace courtyard. As Ji-Un and Hwi kiss, unbeknownst to them they’re bein watched by Seok-Jo…oh no.
The Episode Review
With Ji-Un back in the palace and Hwi forced to succumb to Ki-Jae’s ruling, this episode takes a slightly different stance, leaning much more heavily into comedy territory. I understand this has been done to alleviate some of the heavy tension and big drama that’s been gripping this show recently but for me, it doesn’t work quite.
Poor Ha-Kyung as well, she finds her entire world turned upside down in the wake of the King’s confession, with her happily-ever-after not s happy after all. Will she find out the truth about Hwi? It certainly looks that way.
The shocking ending with Seok-Jo though is bound to raise a few eyebrows and it certainly sets up a very dramatic few episodes to come next week when the show returns.