A Shocking Secret
Episode 13 of Under the Queen’s Umbrella starts with Court Lady Shin hurrying out to find Cho-Wol at the gates with a babe in hand. She shakes her head in disbelief, as the reality of what’s happened starts to dawn on the royals. “Have you no fear?” Hwa-Ryeong asks, as she’s caught off-guard by Cho-Wol, who asks her to take in the child and raise her as one of their own.
When Hwa-Ryeong tells her son, showing him the babe, he drops to his knees and pleads with Hwa-Ryeong to find Cho-Wol. Muan also suggests he look after the child in the meantime, but Hwa-Ryeong is quick to point out how damaging this will be. However, he promises to be there for the child, and after handing her over, Hwa-Ryeong and Court Lady Shin leave.
Muan is left with the crying babe and a taste of exactly how difficult it is to be a parent. Make friends with coffee Muan, it’ll serve you well during this difficult time!
Meanwhile, Seongnam continues to feel wary in the presence of Cheon-Ha, believing her to have been compromised by the Queen Dowager. Given she’s the Minister of War, he believes it’s only a matter of time before she stabs him in the back. With Seongnam gone, Cheong-Ha ends up getting drunk alone and deduces that the reason for his absence comes from bedroom problems, and she decides to outright ask him in the morning.
Seongnam is cold toward her though and simply tells Cheong-Ha to make her announcement to the Queen Dowager, whom they visit the next morning. When Seongnam mentions leaving the previous night and not consummating the marriage, Dowager starts to grow suspicious..until Cheong-Ha covers for her husband and claims he returned quickly.
Confused, Cheong-Ha approaches Hwa-Ryeong and asks her about the bedroom issues she’s having with Seongnam. The pair have an amusing chat, but that amusement is eventually squashed by Muan, who pleads with Hwa-Ryeong for help in raising his babe. Reluctantly she takes the child, prompting Muan to hurry out momentarily for a bathroom break. When he returns, he finds Hwa-Ryeong working her magic, putting the babe down to sleep perfectly.
Meanwhile, the scholars and officials contemplate whether they should work with the new Crown Prince to reform and fix issues involving the Uichang. Although they allow him to be part of this, the Chief State Councilor throws out a tough ultimatum – if Seongnam is unsuccessful in his endeavour, then he’s not allowed to get involved in political matters again.
As Seongnam works on his Uichang, he comes across a missing page from the previous Crown Prince’s medical records. That’s a massive find too, given it confirms that Physician Kwon didn’t just treat heyolheogwol.
In the wake of this, Hwa-Ryeong also puts Seongnam’s mind at ease, telling him that Cheong-Ha is not wed to him for malicious reasons, she genuinely wants to be with him and there’s no ulterior motive going on with the Crown Princess.
Anyway, Hwa-Ryeong takes the document and checks the journal, where it confirms the Crown Prince had a lot of acupuncture done during his recovery. If you’ll remember, Seongnam was told that acupuncture can be deadly for the Prince in his condition. It seems the coughing up of blood was not from the experimental treatment but almost directly related to the acupunture. Could it be that Kwon ruptured an organ while performing this act? It certainly seems that way!
In order to find out the truth, Hwa-Ryeong decides to bring Kwon back to the palace to find out what poison he used against the Crown Prince.
Through her research, Hwa-Ryeong is handed a prescription written by Royal Physician Yoo at the time. Now, her mother also suffered from hyeolheogwol, just like the Crown Prince, and as such, took it with her when she left the Royal Clinic. Using this against the prescription for the Crown Prince, Hwa-Ryeong starts to realize the connection.
While all this is going on, Uiseong continues to plot for the throne, working with the Chief State Councilor to usurp the current King. He’s dead-set on making it no matter what, while Muan and the other Princes deliberate over what to call their new niece. Eventually, they decide on the name A-Ra.
In the morning, Muan is worried that A-Ra is sick, but in truth she appears to have colic. That would explain her big bouts of crying for seemingly no reason. Muan blames himself, bemoaning how he’s incompetent. He also wants Cho-Wol to help him raise this babe, believing A-Ra should have her mother. Muan is ready to face the consequences this could have on his birthright – and the future of his child – and Hwa-Ryeong allows it. The thing is, Cho-Wol is actually already in the palace!
She shuffles in now, with Hwa-Ryeong revealed to have convinced her to stay in the palace. She actually abandoned a babe as a child and regretted it ever since. As she mentions this to Cho-Wol, Hwa-Ryeong continues, pointing out it’s taken her a long time to try and set this motion right.
Meanwhile, Seongnam takes the bokgeomsihyeongdo (a sketched autopsy report of the state of a dead body) to Master Toji and he immediately sees similarities to Crown Prince Taein, who was poisoned. Taein had a similar scar on his chest and he’s certain the man was poisoned. That would mean that Taein and the previous Crown Prince were both poisoned. Now, given Master Toji is actually Physician Yoo, Seongnam believes they can try and catch him off-guard by finding the record of death in Seungjeongwon. However, infiltrating this area is against the law so it’s a precarious situation.
Consort Hwang tries to encourage the Queen Dowager to drink pine-needle tea, but the latter is clever and realizes that she’s being played. She smashes the cup and immediately accuses Hwang of attempting to poison her. Dowager speaks plainly to Hwang and demands to know who Uiseong’s true father is.
As the episode closes out, Physician Kwon heads back to see his mother… who happens to be deposed Queen Yoon!
The Episode Review
The big shocker at the end confirms that Kwon is Queen Yoon’s son in a big shocker, and even more so that he’s actually Uiseong’s father. The ramifications of this seems to confirm that Uiseong is actually the legitimate heir for the previous throne.
That is a massive twist and something that’s going to have big ramifications for the remaining episodes in this series.
So far, Under the Queen’s Umbrella has been a really intense and enjoyable historical drama, and this week’s chapter switches the focus slightly to more of Muan and his babe. It’s good to see the virtues Hwa-Ryeong has being instilled on her sons and each of them have their own roles to play in this drama, to great effect.
Hwa-Ryeong is far from perfect, she too makes mistakes as well, but she’s definitely an inspirational parent and does the best for her boys.
Everything is set up on a precarious knife edge going forward though and it’s anyone’s guess what will happen next.