The Royal Deception
Episode 2 of The King’s Affection begins with grave news as Lee Hyun’s body is brought back to the palace. His mother mourns, while Lee Hwi remains in her place as the young prince. In fact, Hwi is under strict instructions not to leave this room.
When her mother returns, she implores Lee Hwi to continue playing along and to take this secret to the grave. For now, she’ll have to play along and remain as the crown prince. Bok-Dong though is beside himself with guilt, sobbing.
That evening the pair sneak out and watch as Han Ki-Jae looks upon Lee Hyun’s body. This confirms the worst, as Ji-Un too receives the grave news. With Lee-Hwi (still going under the alias of Dam-I) failing to show up as scheduled, Ji-Un goes on the hunt to try and find her. Only, no one has seen her since yesterday.
The next day, Lee Hwi is given her duties as prince but nothing seems to go as planned. Not only is she unusually caring, she’s also clumsy and disorientated too. Bok-Dong is there to help, but it takes a stern word from her mother to right this wobbly ship. Basically she needs to make sure others fear her so no one gets close enough to discover the truth.
Back in the palace, Ji-Un learns about the death and shows up to try and find Lee-Hwi. With tears streaming down her face and a sheet between them, she listens to him talk about the death. Just before he leaves, Lee-Hwi hands over her dice with the faces of those die reading “longing, wait”
On his way out the palace, Ji-Un watches as his father, Seok-Jo, takes I-Wol aside and brandishes a sword. The court maid begs for mercy and Ji-Un even jumps in to spare her. It’s no good and as the woman tries to run away, Seok-Jo follows and slashes her violently, killing the maid.
Unbeknownst to them, Lee-Hwi happens to be watching from afar and begins sobbing too. Her friend is dead. However, the palace is in uproar as they realize the prince has gone missing. At least temporarily anyway. Lee Hwi soon appears through a hidden doorway in the gardens and finds herself in the presence of both Bok-Dong and Court Lady Kim.
Her mum isn’t upset though, instead happy that Hwi has returned to the palace. Only, Lee-Hwi’s mother isn’t healthy and in fact, she dies that night after telling the crown prince he needs to look out for Lee-Hwi no mater what. As the funeral for her gets underway, we cut forward through time.
Years have passed and Lee-Hwi is a lot colder now; a much more stern and unforgiving prince. She plays the role well and rides out the palace with purpose, especially when she rocks up with a few spots on her head.
Lee-Hwi arrives straight for Ji-Un’s place, wrapped in robes. Now, Ji-Un actually happens to be a physician and he’s given until the end of the day to fix her up or his associate Yeong-Ji will meet a sticky demise.
After patching her up, Lee-Hwi heads out for the great boar hunt. Only, in doing so she ends up butting heads with her uncle. When he strikes an arrow that narrowly misses her, it knocks the bun out of her hair and shows off her feminine looks.
Hwi races off down to the shore, being careful not to be followed. Only, when she hears a twig snap she throws a dagger. Only, it turns out it’s not actually her uncle but Ji-Un who shows up!
The Episode Review
The King’s Affection delivers another decent episode here, with the long-awaited time-jump forward to the period I’d imagine we’ll spend almost all of our time at now. The show has done well so far to set up the story to come and it seems like we’re going to get a much more lighthearted romp than something like The Crowned Clown, which was very much a tense and cutthroat historical drama.
However, the series has done well to keep things engaging thus far, with Lee-Hwi an easy character to root for. Park Eun-Bin is a solid actress and she was great in both Hot Stove League and Do You Like Brahms? with big roles in both dramas. Of course, her filmography goes a lot further back than that and for good reason too, she’s a great actress.
With 20 episodes to play with, The King’s Affection has plenty in the pipeline and the ending hints that we’ve got wisps of romance to come on the horizon. Roll on the next episode!