Now that the second half of the show has rolled around, we are finally seeing some devastating secrets come to light. This episode explores King Cheoljong’s (Kim Jung-hyun) traumatic past as well as the secret that binds Queen So-yong (Shin Hye-sun) and Jo Hwa-jin (Seol In-ah) together.
The King and Queen in throes of passion
Byeong-in (Na In-woo) rushes to So-yong’s chamber thinking she’s in danger, only to find her kissing Cheoljong. Unsurprisingly, he is heartbroken, but the King and Queen continue to furiously make out, breaking several household items in the process. So-yong tries to make herself stop, seemingly having a fight with the spirit inside her. Cheoljong believes that she is intoxicated and knocks her out then continues on his mission. He realizes that the ledger he wants is in the dry well he was trapped in as a child.
Conspiracies and clashes within the palace
So-yong turns her focus towards winning Grand Queen Dowager Sunwon (Bae Jong-ok) or Sunwon unnie (big sister) over, while Cheoljong devises ways to obtain the ledger. They are two people with opposite goals. Back at the palace, Grand Queen Dowager Sunwon misses So-yong’s cooking. Byeong-in investigates the King’s Royal Guard under Prince Yeongpyeong (Yoo Min-kyu), while Queen Dowager Jo (Jo Yeon-hee) is thrilled about the secret Hwa-jin has divulged to her, about herself and So-yong. Hwa-jin becomes more ambitious of becoming queen, while Cheoljong and Yeongpyeong realize that the man who attacked Cheoljeong is the same one who kidnapped Hwa-jin’s maid.
So-yong defends Cheoljong from criticism
After rejecting a summon to return to the palace in favor of staying by his Queen one more night, So-yong and Cheoljong have another date. She deduces that he doesn’t like the palace either, while he wants to dress as a commoner to hear his fellow citizens’ grievances. He spots a group criticizing the King and joins them, which So-yong finds impressive. But when the group turns critical of the King’s family, she becomes protective and defends the King. “I’m part of the King’s fan club,” she hilariously remarks, “anti-fans are fans, too.” Cheoljong is moved by this display of loyalty, calling himself So-yong’s anti-fan, believing the term to mean “guardian spirit.” This show’s juxtaposition of modern-day trends with Joseon is super funny.
The palace misses its Queen while So-yong has a crisis
Kim Jwa-geun (Kim Tae-woo) tortures his servant who failed to get him ledger, while street-smart Cheoljong saves So-yong from con artists. They end up sharing anecdotes about their past and families. Officer Hong (Lee Jae-won) sets out to find the masked man who clashed with Cheoljong, while Grand Queen Dowager Sunwon misses So-yong’s cooking and humiliates Queen Dowager Jo. So-yong, on the other hand, is dealing with her very first period since coming to live a woman’s body.
A secret involving Cheoljong, So-yong, and Hwa-jin comes to light
Cheoljong enters the well to retrieve the ledger. We find out that after the attack on his family, his mother had hidden younger Cheoljong (Kim Kang-hoon) inside the well. In the present, adult Cheoljong panics and begins seeing hallucinations of his dead family. This brings us to the So-yong and Hwa-jin part of the secret, which is that both of them had been friends and looked alike as kids, but Hwa-jin had gotten discriminated against for belonging to a family of lower class. Hwa-jin had told a grief-stricken So-yong that she would see her dead mother if she died, and So-yong had found herself at the bottom of the same well Cheoljong was hiding in. So-yong had saved them both, but when Cheoljong had escaped, he had seen Hwa-jin instead, believing her to be So-yong. Once again, he looks up the well to see So-yong’s face.