Last week’s episode ended on an interesting cliffhanger, and things go from there. There are some interesting developments both on the political and emotional fronts.
The Queen’s confession
In front of everyone, right before the King (Kim Jung-hyun) himself is about to confess to trying to kill his wife, So-yong (Shin Hye-sun) aka Jang Bong-hwan confesses to taking her own life by jumping in the lake. This, of course, befuddles more than one person—most importantly Cheoljong and the Grand Queen Dowager (Bae Jong-ok), whose plan to get rid of the King’s concubine is foiled. There is also an intense staring match between King Cheoljong and Kim Byeong-in (Na In-woo), who steps in to protect So-yong when the King chooses his concubine over the Queen.
Another hurdle in Bong-hwan’s escape plan
The Queen makes the confession under the assumption that the lake will be filled, and she will get to escape soon, but the well dries out and places another hurdle at her feet. Another puzzle piece from the night So-yong jumped is introduced—that she met Grand Queen Dowager and tried to stop her marriage to Cheoljong but was disregarded.
A blunt threat by the Kim family
After So-yong foils Grand Queen Dowager and Kim Jwa-geun’s (Kim Tae-woo) carefully laid plan, she is threatened by the latter to fall in line and co-operate or she will be “dealt with.” Meanwhile, Cheoljong cannot make sense of So-yong’s decision to save him and Hwa-jin (Seol In-ah) and considers that she might not be all evil just because she’s from the Kim family. More flashbacks follow—of So-yong’s meetings with Cheoljong and then Hwajin on the unfortunate night. We get to understand the full scope of her struggle.
Kim Byeong-in decides to take on the King
Kim Jwa-geun’s adopted son, Kim Byeong-in, who is also secretly in love with So-yong, decides to take on the post of the captain of the Royal Investigation Bureau. It is in plain sight that he intends to investigate the assassination attempts on So-yong’s life and suspects the King. I wonder what will change now that So-yong has an inside man in such an important position on her side.
The King’s brother might be falling in love
In a surprising turn of events, a connection seems to be developing between Prince Yeongpyeong and Jo Hwa-jin, as the former comforts her after the horrifying turn of events surrounding her maid Oh Wol. I suspect this connection to grow stronger the more Cheoljong puzzles over Soyong and ignores Hwa-jin, and then things will get VERY interesting.
More secrets and an ill-timed crush
The extent of corruption in the Royal Court is revealed when Queen Dowager tells Hwa-jin how mercilessly the previous King was murdered for introducing reforms. Another flashback into the past reveals that both Hwa-jin and So-yong knew each others’ secrets, although what they might be is yet to be revealed. In the midst of all this, Cheoljong’s heart is opening up to So-yong, and this spells trouble for Jang Bong-hwan, who only wants to escape.