The King: Eternal Monarch Episode 2 Recap
2019… Republic of Korea…
King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) dismounts and walks to Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun). He looks at her badge. He stares into her eyes. Detective Jung asks what he’s doing. Lee Gon says he’s finally met her… Detective Jung Tae Eul…and hugs her. She pushes away demanding to know what he’s about. Lee Gon states it was a greeting for the woman that existed across the universe. She asks for his ID. He says he doesn’t have one because he is who he is. Tae Eul is taken aback. Lee Gon lays it out, he’s the King of Corea, used a time portal, and believes this is a parallel universe. She sighs. Lee Gon asks to be taken to Queen Luna, the ruling power in this universe. Tae Eul says he’ll need to buy a ticket. Lee Gon doesn’t understand. Tae Eul repeats his claims. She calls him a crazy bastard. Lee Gon is surprised. He thought her personality would be softer. She scoffs and says this is who she is. She steps to him and lists his offenses, no ID, touching a police officer, and reads him his rights. She arrests him.
Maximus the horse waits outside while Tae Eul questions Lee Gon. She asks him to dump his belongs. She finds a talisman and money from the kingdom. She bags the cash stating this could be used for counterfeit purposes. She forces him to be fingerprinted even though Lee Gon states she can’t touch him.
2019… Kingdom of Corea…
Court Lady Noh meets Prince Buyeong and explains that Lee Gon has disappeared again. He laughs saying this is nothing new. She urges him to knock sense into Lee Gon when he returns. They discuss the excuse for the press release.
Jo Young (Woo Do Hwan) and his security team search the bamboo forest where Lee Gon disappeared. Jo Young doesn’t understand how Lee Gon disappeared between the two CCTV checkpoint, how the hoofprints stopped at this point. His team says they’ll reexamine the CCTV footage. Jo Young asks the team to confirm Lee Gon’s statement that he was off to see if it is a clock or a rabbit. They confirm it.
Jo Young interrogates the men chasing the women with the rabbit ear hoody. They claim she stole money from them and were rightly pursuing her. They say the woman doesn’t have a home or identity. The police officer says their story checks out. Jo Young asks if the woman has been found. Not yet is the response. She’s committed other crimes like theft and assault. The men declare her name is Luna. The officer tells Jo Young he’ll call when she’s been caught. Jo Young asks him to consolidate CCTV of Luna.
2019… Republic of Korea…
Lee Gon asks Tae Eul for a chair or cushion stating he’s never sat on the floor. Social Services representative Jo Eun Sub (Woo Do Hwan). Lee Gon recognize him but Eun Sub doesn’t recognize Lee Gon. Eun Sub delivers a package to Tae Eul. Lee Gon realizes Eun Sub isn’t Jo Young. Eun Sub talks admiringly about Lee Gon’s horse. He leaves.
Tae Eul is surprised to learn that Lee Gon’s fingerprints don’t match and he really doesn’t have an ID. She’s told to get a DNA sample.
When she tries to swab Lee Gon, he realizes that she was unable to identify him. He reiterates he lives in a parallel world and cannot be identified in this world. He says to find her in this world, he only had her photo and birthdate. Tae Eul questions why he was searching for her. Lee Gon says she’s look better in real life. She tells him to prove he’s from a parallel world. He says the proof is in front of her. She says he’s a criminal. He tells her Einstein’s’ theory proved particles could exist in parallel therefore a parallel world is possible. She swabs him and thanks him for the information.
2019… Kingdom of Corea…
Prime Minister Goo Seo Ryung (Jung Eun Chae) is miffed her cabinet members are idiots. She learns Lee Gon has run off again. His assistant suggests another woman. Prime Minister Goo declares she’s the only woman for him. She looks at social media and is pleased to see positive response to the picture with Lee Gon from yesterday.
2019… Republic of Korea…
Tae Eul tells Lee Gon he’s lucky he’s being let go. He counters that she could only hold him 48 hours. She asks how she can contact him when she receives the DNA results. Lee Gon gives her a name of a hotel near her identified by Eun Sub. Lee Gon says Eun Sub relayed that Tae Eul’s father runs a Taekwondo facility. Tae Eul says it is an expensive hotel. He asks for a nearby jeweler and removes a button from his jacket. He says it encrusted with diamonds. Tae Eul doesn’t believe him and declares if that’s a diamond she’s Princess Diana.
The jeweler is amazed at the craftsmanship of the button. Tae Eul is shocked. Lee Gon asks how much. The jeweler hesitates. Tae Eul shows her badge. That gets the jewelers attention. Lee Gon asks if Tae Eul is going to tell the jeweler her alternative ID, Princess Diana.
Tae Eul wonders if he stole the diamonds. Lee Gon counters that a thief wouldn’t hang out with police if that were true. Lee Gon asks about a nearby skyscraper. Tae Eul tries to wrap it up and tells him to take a taxi to the hotel. He blocks her exit and asks her not to leave. He says he waited 25 years to find her and hopes today can be a long one with her. She gets a work call and leaves. Lee Gon watches her go.
Tae Eul and Detective Gang Shin Jae (Kim Kyung Nam) interview a woman whose husband has been missing 3 weeks. She explains he’s gone missing before but not for this long. She shares her husband borrows money freely and isn’t liked. She laments at the debt he’s left her. Detective Gang notices crowbars in the corner.
Eun Sub is surprised when Lee Gon calls him. He refuses the call. He eventually caves and they shop till they drop. Eun Sub is impressed with Lee Gon’s hotel suite. Lee Gon offers him part of the clothes haul. Eun Sub agrees to stay. Lee Gon wants to know Eun Sub’s background and asks for a family photo. Eun Sub shows him a photo of himself and his father. Lee Gon recognizes Eun Sub’s father from his world. He murmurs this is a parallel world. Eun Sub gets series of angry texts that Lee Gon sees as he’s holding Eun Sub’s phone to look at the picture of Eun Sub and his father. He hands the phone to Eun Sub who isn’t interested in answering. Turns out Eun Sub put Maximus at Tae Eul’s home. She can’t believe the horse Maximus is in the front yard eating. Eun Sub is livid.
Tae Eul arrives at the hotel and asks for the room number for a man that matches Lee Gon’s description. The front desk won’t provide the room. Tae Eul writes a note stating she’ll sell the horse if he doesn’t meet her in 10 minutes. She asks the front desk to deliver this message to the guest’s room.
Lee Gon meets her in the lobby. Lee Gon asks if she can keep him until he returns to his world. He’ll care for the horse. Tae Eul asks when he’s living. Lee Gon admits that’s open ended because he likes being with her. Tae Eul notices his new clothes. Lee Gon says he likes them. Tae Eul doesn’t. She agrees to allow the horse to stay until the DNA results are in. She puts her hair in a ponytail. Lee Gon asks her not to. She ignores the request. She warns Lee Gon to stay out of trouble or she’ll look into how much she can sell the horse for. She gets a call stating the wife of the body (Lee Sang Do) has surfaced. She leaves.
Tae Eul and Detective Gang talk to Lee Sang Do’s wife at the hardware store she owns. They learn the Lee Sang Do had been missing for three weeks. She says he borrowed money from everyone and carried two phones. Detective Gang thinks the weapon could be crow bar.
Tae Eul and Detective Gang search trash to find the weapon. Lee Gon calls her multiple times during the day; she hangs up on him every time.
Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) (Lee Gon’s uncle) decoratively paints a temple to signify his own history.
A birthday party for a wheel chair bound young Myeong Ho goes awry when the 3 friends that attend give him a soccer ball. The mother tries to smooth over their insensitivity, but they leave to do physical fun leaving Myeong Ho upset. Lee Rim approaches the mother will her son is in the bathroom. He tells her while her son will never walk, she can make the 3 friends suffer. A news report states 3 children have been seriously injured jaywalking and being run over a truck.
Song Jung Hye buys flowers to remember her son. She recalls when she was happy about her husband’s death and Lee Rim rose from the wheelchair. He tells her the story to tell about her son and husbands’ death when the police knocked at her door. He warns she will be a primary suspect. He asks if she wants redemption. She hesitates. At her son’s grave she remembers Lee Rim’s words “you were happy once, now you will never be happy again.” The plaque identify her son as Lee Ji Hun who died at the age of 7. Recall Ji Hyun was Lee Gon’s counterpart in this world. Song Jung Hye’s husband was Lee Gon’s father’s counterpart in this world.
Tae Eul interrogates a suspect. He claims to know nothing. She asks for his whereabouts at the time of the murder. He claims he was knocked unconscious and woke in his apartment with his blood around him. Tae Eul states that was the victim’s blood. She asks where the weapon his. The man insists he didn’t kill. He tells them to check the CCTV at the bar he frequents. Detective Gang and Tae Eul find footage that shows Lee Sang Do followed Kim Bok Man to his apartment then his whereabouts were unknown for 3 weeks. Head Detective Park Moon Shik, Detective Gang Michael, and Detective Shim are ready to wrap it up for the day when Eun Sub wonders Sang Do found Bok Man’s phone number and address. The 3 detectives sit down then Tae Eul declares it is time to go home.
Tae Eul returns home and Maximus rejects her offer of a carrot. She calls Eun Sub to find out where Lee Gon is.
Eun Sub takes Tae Eul to the library where Lee Gon is studying Korean history. Eun Sub tell her that Lee Gon has been studying like this for 3 days. Lee Gon agrees to relieve him. Thrilled, Eun Sub exits. Tae Eul approaches the table where adoring girls have gifted Lee Gon drinks with supportive notes attached. Lee Gon informs her the Republic of Korea is a democracy. Tae Eul gets up. Lee Gon follows her.
Tae Eul takes Lee Gon to a fried chicken eatery. He hesitates to eat food that isn’t tasted to prove it is poison free. He explains Eun Sub has done that for him. He tells Tae Eul that if he’s poisoned tonight, he must tell her something. Tae Eul tells him to share away. He thanks her for helping him feel less lonely because she existed. He eats the chicken and is surprised how good it is. He tells her he learned their worlds diverged when in this world Prince Sohyeon died young, while in his world the prince became king. In this word industrialization evolved the country. She asks if he’s a writer.
Flashback…A young Lee Gon tells Court Lady Noh his savior was the reason he survived. As he watches a young Maximus frolic, he shares on that night he heard a flute. He insists the flute was why he went to where his father was. Court Lady Noh comments he hasn’t talked about this previously. He asks if she’s been holding the magic flute in secret. Court Lady Noh reveals the crop with half the magic flute and confirms she kept this. She fears giving it to him, but knows it is time. She marvels that something silent made a sound. She holds Tae Eul’s police badge and notes that this can’t be confirmed to exist. She wishes Jo Young hadn’t remember anything. She gives him the badge and crop with flute. She promises to keep this a secret between them. He wonders if these two items hold the key to why he survived that day.
Lee Gon asks Tae Eul why she never believes him. Tae Eul says she can’t believe in a parallel world. She tells him to do nothing until the DNA results arrive. Lee Gon asks why she’s helping him. Tae Eul claims as a police officer she feels duty bound. Lee Gon leans forward and asks if there’s another reason she wants him to stay in her world. They lock eyes.
That evening Lee Gon visits an exhibit of ancient King Taejo.
2019… Kingdom of Corea…
Jo Young stand in the spot where he found Lee Gon staring into the window after the rabbit ear girl got away. He remembers Lee Gon stating he just saw the white rabbit with the clock. Jo Young sees someone with rabbit ears reflected. He runs at the person. It’s a man on a skateboard. He recognizes Jo Young. Looking at the jacket with the rabbit ears, Jo Young asks where he got it. The man says it is the class uniform. He apologizes for disturbing him and leaves.
Myeong Seung A is thrilled to hear she’s progressed to a final interview to work in the palace. She taken aback when Jo Young approaches her. She knows who he is. He asks about the camera next to her and asks if it was the one, she used during the sculling competition. He asks to see the photos. She hands him the camera. He sees the various photos she took of him. She cringes. He asks her to email the photos. She’s thrilled the photos might help. Jo Young says he doesn’t know yet. He provides his email address. She murmurs he’s cool. Jo Young counters he can hear her. He leaves. She grabs the napkin with his email address and giggles happily.
Jo Young reports his progress to Court Lady Noh. Jo Young says he believes a woman is what Lee Gon was following on the day he disappeared. Court Lady Noh is surprised. Jo Young promises to keep her informed. Court Lady Noh laments the multiple talisman haven’t worked.
2019… Republic of Korea…
Lee Gon sits in his hotel room and surveys the plethora of bags. Then he views his jacket know button-less. He puts his head in his hands.
Lee Gon visits Maximus. He counts the few remaining coins he has. Detective Gang finds him sitting on a bench next to his horse. He calls to Tae Eul who shouts from the window she’ll be down shortly. Lee Gon asks Detective Gang’s relationship with Tae Eul. He considers the question impudent. They bicker. Detective Gang enters the house. Lee Gon stares into the window where Tae Eul is folding laundry.
Flashback…2006…Tae Eul comes home to find dozens of eggs stacked on a table next to her father. He admits he kind heartedly purchased the eggs to help the seller. Tae Eul chastises her father. He counters and asks why he hasn’t seen her report card. She suggests an idea to lure customers to his Taekwondo facility. Tae Eul poses in an open window as the high school boys walk by. Her long flowing hair and her while dobok catch their eyes They walk away. But a young Shin Jae sees her. She sees him. He doesn’t move. Irked, she grouses to her father her idea didn’t work. Then Shin Jae enters the facility. Tae Eul smiles in triumph. Her father slips her money. She exits flipping her hair at a young Shin Jae.
When Tae Eul exits her house, Lee Gon offers to join her. She tells him to spend time with his horse and leaves. Lee Gon sighs.
Tae Eul recalls Lee Gon’s question if there was more to why she was helping him. She returns to her house. Lee Gon asks why she left him when she’s the only person in the world he knows. Tae Eul asks how he knows her. Lee Gon explains he got her ID card 25 years ago. He clarifies someone lost it. She asks who. Lee Gon says he’s still looking for the person who seems to be related to her. Tae Eul points out 25 years ago she was only 5 years old and not a detective. She asks how he has her ID. Lee Gon relay that the ID he has was issued November 11, 2019. She calls him delusion and tells him to see a doctor with all the money from his diamond buttons. Lee Gon admits he has no more money. Tae Eul believes Lee Gon must have family. Lee Gon says he’s single without immediate family. He promises to prove who he is. He steps toward her. She holds her ground. He offers to make her his wife and his queen. Lee Gon declares she’s the reason he wants to stay in this world. Tae Eul calls him crazy. Lee Gon smiles.
Slow build episode. Writer Kim Eun Sook keeps laying down pieces to will build this series. At this point I’m not feeling strongly connected. Our couple is engaged but not on an emotional level…yet. But this is only episode 2 and other series by Writer Kim have started slow for me. I have faith that going forward I will engage with this series not merely watch it.
King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) can’t convince Tae Eul. She doesn’t believe he has her ID from 25 years ago when she was just 4 years old. That’s a good point. Lee Gon responded that it must be someone connected to her. Her father? Jo Young’s father? Lee Gon brought the crop with his half of the magic flute. Lee Gon’s hotel and purchases must be astronomical to go through all his diamond encrusted buttons. The King needs some remedial money management.
Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) can’t walk away from Lee Gon. She’s drawn to him though she can’t believe his story. She got a proposal not only to his wife but also his queen.
Jo Young (Woo Do Hwan) searches for Lee Gon. Apparently, Lee Gon has taken off many times in the past. Jo Young is thoroughly searching for him. Watching him stiffly engage with Myeong Seung A who was crushing on him was cute.
Prince Geum Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) (Lee Gon’s uncle) painted a temple and offers people the choice of revenge. I can almost understand Myeong Ho’s mother for accepting Lee Rim’s offer to make the 3 mean boys pay.
The second song of the OST is sung by Hwa Sa’ and titled “Orbit”. This song will be the theme of the series and lyrics depict protecting those you love.
I rank this episode as good, 7 on a 10-point scale.