Dowager Plays Puppet Master
Episode 15 of Under the Queen’s Umbrella starts with Physician Kwon and Hwa-Ryeong face to face once more. Kwon points out that revenge was never in his mind to begin with, he simply wanted to find out what happened to his brother.
Unfortunately, he used the Crown Prince as a test, knowing he was suffering from Hyeolheogwol and believing it was destiny to Uuse him as a test subject.
Kwon fed him gansu and pierced his organs with the acupuncture, speaking nonchalantly about the whole affair. Kwon is bitter and retorts back against Hwa-Ryeong’s shouting, telling her that four of his mother’s children died. “You will never understand the excruciating pain.” He says.
Kwon has not finished though and wants to turn everything to ash around him, telling Hwa-Ryeong this is not over.
Just before soldiers arrive to arrest him, Kwon rushes out the back. Unfortunately, the guards lose Kwon who manages to get away. The King orders for them to find the Deposed Queen too, but Yoon is not at her house. It turns out Kwon is actually at Prince Uiseong’s , hiding.
He wants Uiseong’s help, believing that he can reveal to the world what the King has done, undermining his authority and then the autopsy report will strengthen the legitimacy of Grand Prince Yeongwon’s ascension to the throne. He doesn’t have the autopsy report of course, but knows it’s inside the palace somewhere. He tries to enlist his help to try and find it.
Hwa-Ryeong has the autopsy report herself though, and in doing so bides her time for Kwon to come to her again. There’s also the subject of the King too, whom we know is a man possessed and desperate to find the report for himself. In fact, he orders for Kwon to be killed.
When Hwa-Ryeong finds out, she realizes everything is about to kick off, especially as Queen Dowager will want the King dead when she finds out his secret. As a result, Hwa-Ryeong tells Dowager what’s happening with Yoon and how she was deceived by Physician Kwon, who is actually Ik-Hyeon.
Hwa-Ryeong reveals that she has the autopsy report of Crown Prince Taein to the Dowager, much to the surprise of everyone. The reason for this is that she wants to find Kwon before the King DOES. If she can bring him to her alive, then she’ll hand over the autopsy report.
However, trouble is afoot in the palace as the Crown Princess suddenly falls ill. Her pulse is slow and smooth. When the physician checks her over, it would appear that she’s actually pregnant! Hwa-Ryeong congratulates her son and encourages Seongnam to stay by Cheong-Ha’s side.
When Cheong-Ha awakens at night, she’s shocked to learn that she’s pregnant and is immediately taken aback. While asleep that night, Seongnam checks on his partner and notices her journal. Reading it, he realizes Cheong-Ha is actually true of heart and it softens his feelings considerably.
After hearing about the pregnancy, Dowager learns where Kwon is hiding but decides against jumping on this just yet, worried that he’ll flee again. Instead, her plan with Cheong-Ha finally seems to come to fruition.
Cheong-Ha is pregnant but Dowager has paid off the physician to make it seem like she’s not. He claims (in front of Hwa-Ryeong and Dowager) that Cheong-Ha’s irregular pulse is concealing her heart disease that she’s suffered from for a while. Since it’s nothing serious though, Hwa-Ryeong decides to treat this herself.
Dowager bites back, claiming that this is dangerous and could result in a miscarriage, and as such Dowager wants the Princess gone. Not only that, but she moves to depose the Crown Prince too. However, she’ll agree to overlook all of this if Hwa-Ryeong will hand over the autopsy report. It’s a cunning plan and something that sees her back on the front foot again.
Without much of a choice, Hwa-Ryeong decides to hand it over after all, unwilling to lose another Crown Princess. However, she happens to have another copy of the autopsy report, which she keeps hidden for now.
The race is on to find Physician Kwon, and with the Dowager using the Chief State Councilor to her will, threatening him with faked evidence, Hwa-Ryeong asks Yoon for help in finding Ik-Hyeon first. It’s too late. The Councilor gets there first but finds himself up at knife-point after letting his guard down.
Kwon takes the scholar away from the others and proceeds to stab him, killing the old man in cold blood. Kwon’s not done yet though, and he has his sights set on his next target – the Queen Dowager.
Knowing that his time is nearly up, he wastes little time heading straight for her chambers. Kwon is not happy and points out all the deaths that he’s had to endure and how he’s been chasing shadows. However, Dowager isn’t sitting in her usual spot. Kwon is surrounded on all sides by Consort Hwang, Dowager’s court lady and a whole rabble of guards outside the door. He’s fallen right into the trap.
As Kwon confronts Consort Hwang, Uiseong comes storming in and stabs Kwon. However, as he bleeds out, Kwon reaches out to Uiseong and tells him that he’s actually his son and his wish is for him to ascend the throne. Of course, this was Dowager’s plan all along, and after feeding lies to Uiseong, made him kill his own father. Uiseong drops the sword to the floor and stands in stunned shock.
The Episode Review
Well, well, well, the penultimate episode confirms that Dowager is one evil, manipulative madam and it’s come to the point now where she has to die, right? She plotted for an entire family to take themselves down – and at their own hands!
It would also appear that she’s also on the verge of getting rid of the Crown Princess and Seongnam too. It wouldn’t surprise me if we find out she’s trying to give Cheong-Ha a miscarriage with that medicine, but we’ll have to wait and see.
The drama between Seongnam and Cheong-Ha is okay but the scenes of them together all lovey-dovey feel a bit draggy now, especially as the rest of the chapter zips by at such a lively pace.
With the Chief State Councilor and Kwon both dead, big question marks lie over exactly what will happen next. Roll on tomorrow’s finale!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|