In the backdrop of Cheoljong (Kim Jung-hyun) and So-yong (Shin Hye-sun) falling for each other, the focus is on Jo Hwa-jin (Seol In-ah), who is faced with tough choices. Jealousy and ambition to become Queen will make her act in unpredictable ways, which could prove to be dangerous for Cheoljong’s plans.
Crucial evidence lands in Jo Hwa-jin’s hands
Hwa-jin’s desire to replace So-yong as the Queen becomes stronger. She visits So-yong’s house to own up to the secret about her past. Instead, she ends up getting her hands on the ledger that Cheoljong was seeking. Now that this piece of evidence is in her hands, it becomes even more important which way her arc goes. She could choose to help her beloved King or choose to hold the ledger over his head, depending on how far she is pushed.
The King and Queen focus on new missions
Meanwhile, Cheoljong and So-yong head back to the palace. So-yong decides to focus on avenging her original self Jang Bong-hwan by exterminating the family line of Director Han, who landed him in the mess. This, she plans to achieve through the process of selecting concubines for the King, which will help her conduct a census to find his family. She also redoubles her attempts to win Grand Queen Dowager Sunwon’s (Bae Jong-ok) favor, first by cooking her sumptuous meals and later by inventing a sheet mask. So-yong wants to be irreplaceable by virtue of her talents but is asked to share her knowledge.
Cheoljong has a new plan; So-yong is developing feelings
The King suffers disapproval within the royal court over a mere banquet. Incensed, he decides that the only way to overthrow Kim family’s influence is by establishing a new clan. For this purpose, he decides to participate in the process of selecting his concubines by choosing which family they come from. Meanwhile, the King’s touches and gestures are starting to affect So-yong and make her heart flutter, which is giving us hilarious meltdowns.
Jo Hwa-jin suffers a double whammy
Cheoljong and So-yong’s growing closeness is now evident to Hwa-jin, who seethes in jealousy. Perhaps to win the King’s attention again, she requests a secret meeting. Queen Dowager Jo (Jo Yeon-hee) intervenes to make sure they don’t meet, leading to a confrontation where Cheoljong is forced to admit his feelings for So-yong to Hwa-jin. To rattle an already insecure Hwa-jin, Queen Dowager Jo plants a corpse that looks like her childhood maid Oh Wol. Believing she has lost both her friend and her love, Hwa-jin loses herself to anger.
The King gets an open threat
Byeong-in (Na In-woo) believes that So-yong is pretending to love Cheoljong for the sake of her family. To extricate her from the King’s grasp, he tries to frame the King by warning Grand Queen Dowager Sunwon about him. Sunwon then openly threatens Cheoljong, who once again plunges into nightmares about being a puppet king. However, the difference is that this time, Cheoljong has hilarious memories of So-yong that comfort him. He begins writing a dictionary of all the strange terms So-yong uses. Meanwhile, So-yong dreams of him, too.