This is going to be more of a The King: Eternal Monarch theory special than an episode review. This episode was one of the most interesting ones yet—despite the CGI, once again, ruining the war scenes. The storyline is starting to unfold and slowly, we are seeing some major plot developments. The intricate rules governing the two worlds and how people travel between them are starting to become clearer, along with Lee Rim’s sinister plans.
This episode starts with political tension between the Kingdom of Corea and Japan. Prime Minister Goo Seo-ryung (Jung Eun-chae) finally takes chare and exhibits authority like we have been wanting her. She tells King Gon (Lee Min-ho), “When it comes to the country’s affairs, personal occasions are business too. And you are my country.” She also seems to be jealous of the easy camaraderie between Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun) and Gon, and in the future, might become one of the characters that create conflict between our leads.
With Tae-eul’s investigation into the murder of Lee Sang-do progressing, I think a major plot twist is on its way. In the previous episode, Tae-eul had managed to extract a news recording from the victim’s phone. She tries searching for it online with no success, only to realize that the events in the news clipping happened in Gon’s world! This means that Lee Sang-do might be connected to Lee Rim (Lee Jung-jin), somehow. He might even be a doppelganger of someone from the royal family, seeing as he shares the Lee family name. And who is our closest bet? I would say Lee Jong-in, who is also known as Prince Buyeong. But how are Lee Rim and Lee Sang-do related? And what was the motive behind his murder? I guess we will find out soon. I just hope the revelation is worth it.
Meanwhile, Tae-eul is also starting to warm up to Gon. Now that she has visited his side of the world, she understands what it is like to be in a new world with no authority. She tries to widen her perspective in order to better understand Gon, his feelings, and the reality she is now living in. She tells him, “I was traveling around today, and realized you must have been lonely in my world.” When she rushes to give him a tight hug, it is apparent that her feelings for him have started to change.
One thing that really intrigued me in this episode was the case of Tae-eul’s missing ID. Someone could have taken it, but at this point, I’m assuming it disappeared because as far as time travel movies go, two things belonging to the same world cannot exist together, at the same time. This rule doesn’t apply to doppelgangers like Jo Yeong and Jo Eun-seob (Woo Do-hwan) because they are separate entities from two different worlds and cannot “negate” each other’s existence. But an ID card is just a physical object. This is just a theory, and I hope Gon, in true mathematician style, will be patient enough to explain things to us later on in the show.
Gon is starting to put the pieces of the two worlds together. He realizes that the events happening in the current timeline are not mere coincidences, rather a plan put in motion 25 years ago. That explains why, when Head Court Lady Noh tells him about Tae-eul’s ID card going missing, Gon is hardly surprised and remarks, “I know this might sound odd, and I can’t explain why, but I somehow feel that everything that is happening now was meant to be, and things were set in motion 25 years ago.”
The events in the drama hint towards our characters being caught in a time loop, which would prove one of the most popular fan theories true – that of the adult Lee Gon traveling back in time to save his younger self, instead of Tae-eul or her counterpart Luna. This means that in each timeline, young Gon will grow up looking for his savior, then eventually go back in time to save his past self. If this happens to be true, it would make sense why the drama is named “Eternal Monarch“—because the Monarch remains stuck in an “eternal” time loop. Insane, right? One way of approaching the time loop theory is to think of time as a long one-way train track. The train only travels in one direction—ahead. If Gon really did twist the rules of time and travel to the past, it created a railroad switch, so the train now has two tracks, or two parallel worlds, instead of one. To restore this balance, the universe sends him into an endless time loop, thus, removing that extra track so the next train can once again travel in a single direction.
This much is clear—this drama is not just some recycled time travel slash parallel worlds concept, it is also one big chess game—the characters are the pieces and the two worlds are the two sides of the board, with Lee Gon and Lee Rim playing a thrilling game opposite each other. The ending of this episode revealed a rather crucial bit of information—both Gon and Lee Rim have similar markings on their bodies but in different places. While Gon’s marking is on his shoulder, Lee Rim’s on his face. Since they’re the only characters with these markings, and also the only ones in possession of the fabled flute, I’m wondering what exactly they signify.
A lot of fans might have realized that this episode is a major game-changer, which explains the sudden jump in the show’s ratings. New fan theories are already emerging, but since we’re not even halfway through the drama, no one can affirm or deny any of the theories. We’ll just have to wait till the drama itself gives us some answers, but now I am very hyped for new episodes. We touch the halfway mark next week and I have my fingers crossed for some big revelations!
ONGOING KOREAN DRAMAS: Born Again | Good Casting | Dinner Mate (NEW) | King Maker: The Change of Destiny | Kkondae Intern | Mystic Pop-up Bar | Oh My Baby | Once Again | Somehow Family | Soul Mechanic | Sweet Munchies (NEW) | Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation (NEW) | The King: Eternal Monarch (POPULAR) | When My Love Blooms
ABOUT US: A site dedicated to Korean TV series, Kdramapal publishes up-to-date and relevant content about Korean dramas including casting news, drama rankings, roundups (recaps), synopses and general info, and TV ratings. Visit us again for updates, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.