Calm Before The Storm
Episode 18 of The King’s Affection picks up after Changun’s death. With blood staining his sword, Seok-Jo heads back to the palace. But that doesn’t stop Hyun from shooting a suspicious glance his way. As he walks in, Seok-Jo runs into his son off the back of leaving Hwi.
In exchange for keeping her secret, Ji-Un agrees to marry So-Eun. Hwi though, remains rattled by this development and struggles to concentrate. During the morning’s meeting, Ji-Un and Hwi are awkward with one another.
Preparations for the wedding are in full swing now, but when Hwi’s best friend finds out he’s pretty shocked. He’s shocked and angry, confronting Ji-Un and smacking him across the mouth. “You would never do something like this without good reason,” He says. Ji-Un, down on his knees, refuses to speak.
In court, when Ji-Un leaves, the Royal Physician shows up. Eunuch Hong intentionally spills hot soup on his hand, just so they can check his scar. He’s definitely the man responsible for killing the eunuch. Hong watches him leave the palace and follows him across the courtyard. And of course, he heads straight up to see Ki-Jae. With Hong listening in, now he knows who’s conspiring against Hwi.
Unfortunately, Ha-Kyeong’s maid feeds back to Ki-Jae that she and Hwi have been sleeping with separate blankets. This does nothing to quell the rumours about Hwi’s affection toward Ji-Un.
Well, that night she confronts Hwi outright and demands to know what’s really going on. It’s a precarious situation and one that sees her heartbreakingly decide she should take a royal concubine. Hwi refuses but embraces the poor young woman tightly, promising to tell her everything that’s going on soon.
More trouble brews with Ji-Un while this is going on. After heading out to find the poisonous herb that killed the King, he runs into Seok-Jo. He confirms that the pharmacy is under Ki-Jae’s supervision. Ji-Un’s eyes light up with horror. This means Jil-Geum is in big trouble. After all, he’s out trying to find the herb too.
Ji-Un races up to find his friend, saving him from a whole horde of assassins that show up. As things grow ever-more desperate, Seok-Jo eventually shows and breaks this up. Despite Ki-Jae’s wishes to end the man, Seok-Jo intervenes and saves them both from a messy fate. He’s going to speak to Ki-Jae personally himself.
Meanwhile, Wonsan is absolutely adamant that Hwi is a woman and confronts Ji-Un about this. He’s taken aback but his feelings betray him. Wonsan knows the truth and he immediately heads over to tell Ki-Jae. Wonsan brings up Hwi’s mood changes in the past but Ki-Jae laughs incredulously, eventually kicking him out his chambers.
The Left State Minister remains conflicted over these rumours. He summons Ka-Hyeong and questions her about Hwi. She keeps her cool for now, managing to stabilize her hands and prevent them from shaking while drinking. For Seok-Jo, he covers his own tracks regarding Hwi but Ki-Jae grows ever-more suspicious. He has his men keep watch of Seok-Jo.
Ki-Jae heads straight into Hwi’s chambers and demands an audience. He brings up the “rumour” about Hwi being a woman and demands to know the truth. His eyes twinkling with mischievous malice, he tells her it’s interesting and wants to know Hwi’s thoughts.
While sitting together, Ki-Jae reveals that he was the one who ordered the girl to be killed all those years ago. After all, royal twins would plague the lineage. He promises to kill anyone who reveals this secret – which includes Court Lady Kim and Eunuch Hong.
Understanding this to be an underhanded threat, Hwi decides they should both leave the palace. She’s going to confront her grandfather and learn the truth – no matter what.
Hwi promises not to die as the final conflict looks to be upon us. Unfortunately it also arrives off the back of Ki-Jae reflecting on what he’s learned and starting to believe Hwi is actually a woman.
Just before Hong and Kim leave the palace for good, they take Ji-Un aside and reveal the truth. Before she was the King, Hwi was actually the court maid, Dam-I. When Ji-Un finds out, he rushes back to the palace to protect Hwi.
When he gets there, Ji-Un finds Hwi burning all the memorabilia from her past life. “Dam-I,” He whispers, locking eyes with her.
The Episode Review
The King’s Affection returns with another really good episode as all our chess pieces begin to move ready for next week’s checkmate.
Hwi’s secret is finally out and it seems that Ji-Un has now decided to stay by Hwi’s side no matter what. However, the preview for next week appears to hint that Seok-Jo and Ji-Un are going to face a pretty nasty fate, while Hwi finally reveals the truth around exactly who she is.
It’s definitely going to be a very dramatic episode judging by what we’ve seen so far and The King’s Affection could well prove to be one of this year’s better historical dramas.
Unlike Lovers of the Red Sky, which seemed to meander around its different plot points, never quite embracing its supernatural or romantic elements, King’s Affection does feel like a much more streamlined story.
Either way, everything is left wide open for a very dramatic finale to come – will everyone make it out of this alive?