The King: Eternal Monarch Episode 3 Recap

The King: Eternal Monarch Episode 3 Recap
2019… Republic of Korea…

Jo Eun Sub (Woo Do Hwan) and Detective Gang Shin Jae (Kim Kyung Nam) wait for Tae Eul to arrive to share in the beer and fried chicken. She texts Shin Jae to proceed without her.

King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) offers to make Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) 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 talks about the number zero. He says even though she doesn’t care for her, he finds her fascinating. He admits the royal court would not approve of her. Tae Eul dares him to take her to his world.

At the bamboo forest, the time portal obelisks do not appear. Lee Gon says he came empty handed to they won’t appear. He describes the flute sounds, the obelisks that appeared and how he traveled here. Thoroughly frustrated Tae Eul declares his DNA test results tomorrow. Lee Gon shares his parents died long ago and he took the throne when he was 8. He suggests they leave.

Shin Jae stares at Tae Eul’s house.

Lee Gon puts his coat over Tae Eul’s shoulders. He wants to know about Shin Jae. She declines to share details.

Flashback….Shin Jae is taken aback when Tae Eul is his Taekwondo teacher. She takes him down and declares learning how to fall is lesson one.

Shin Jae approaches Maximus the horse, who isn’t interested. He sees the symbol on the saddle. Shin Jae finds the same symbol in his notebook.

That was interesting.
2019… Kingdom of Corea…

Court Lady Noh interviews Myung Seung A (Kim Yong Ji). She tells the young woman that after the fourth application, she felt it was time to hire her. Seung A is thrilled. Court Lady Noh admits Seung A’s creative writing is a guilty pleasure. She wants Seung A to put her creative skills and work with the public affairs team.

Prime Minister Goo Seo Ryung (Jung Eun Chae) realizes that Lee Gon isn’t back yet.

Flashback…Prime Minister Goo thanks Lee Gon for voluntarily taxes. He notes she’s block salary increases for the cabinet members. He plans to watch how that plays out.

The cabinet members complain about the salary freeze in various forms including sexist insults. Prime Minister Goo declares the party’s image blows and the disparity between high income and low income is a crucial issue. The salary freeze stands. She strides away.
2019… Republic of Korea…

Head Detective Park Moon Shik and Detective Jang Michael discuss that Shin Jae’s salary was garnered again. Apparently his mother gambles.

The detectives meet to discuss the case of the body found in the trunk. The newest team member arrives. It’s Detective Jang Michael. He vows to support the team with passion. Tae Eul, Shin Jae and Detective Jang leave to search for the murder weapon they believe is a crowbar. Finally, Detective Jang finds the crowbar in a junkyard. It has blood on the end. Shin Jae leaves leaving Tae Eul and Detective Jang to turn the item to forensics.

Shin Jae meets with a criminal who offers him money to look the other way when he’s investigated. The criminal know Shin Jae’s family was once rich but went bankrupt. Shin Jae admits after that he didn’t live on the straight and narrow. Shin Jae rejects the offer of money for favoritism.

I’m finding Shin Jae interesting this episode.

Flashback…Shin Jae is dreadful teaching children Taekwondo. After class, Tae Eul’s father tells him he should no longer teach children’s classes. He notes Shin Jae should be a man on the edge of the wrong path. He gives Shin Jae the police entrance examination study guide.

Tae Eul gives Detective Jang the exciting task of processing expense receipts for the team. Lee Gon calls Tae Eul. She hangs up on him.

Eun Sub shops for food with Lee Gon in tow. Eun Sub says he’s done being involved with Eun Sub. Lee Gon declares Eun Sub is the chief of the royal guard in this world. Eun Sub isn’t impressed.
2019… Kingdom of Corea…

The public affairs team meets to discuss how to handle the king’s continued absence. Seung A has an idea.

Jo Young (Woo Do Hwan) meets with Seung A per Court Lady Noh’s direction. She requests his unlocked phone. He hands it over. She finds a great picture of Jo Young and the king. This will be the center piece of the next post by the public affairs team. Distraction is the strategy she declares. The masses love it!

I like her!

Court Lady Noh looks in the Alice in Wonderland book where Lee Gon keeps Tae Eul’s badge. She stares at the badge she gave him years ago. She asks Jo Young to investigate her. Jo Young reports Lee Gon ordered the woman investigated 3 years ago. Jo Young could find nothing and finds the date on the badge suspicious. Court Lady Noh laments that Lee Gon is obsessed by this woman. Jo Young declares Lee Gon wouldn’t like a woman with this kind of style. Court Lady Noh asks if Jo Young knows what style woman he’d like.
2019… Republic of Korea…

Officer Yoon provides Tae Eul the DNA results. Lee Gon’s results don’t match any known database. Tae Eul gets a call from the country’s horse authority. Turns out Maximus is a rare breed not found in Korea. Tae Eul can’t believe it.

Tae Eul and Lee Gon meet for dinner. She asks if he’s really from another world. Lee Gon confirms he is. Tae Eul asks about the time portal. Lee Gon admits he believes so one else may be using it. She doesn’t understand why in Lee Gon’s world, Busan is the capital. Lee Gon explains that the threat of Japanese invasion had the royal court move to Busan to clearly state don’t invade. He notes Seoul is the central government and Pyongyang is the economic center. He notes there is one Korea is his world. Tae Eul marvels at his story telling. Lee Gon guesses his DNA results did not match any database. She doesn’t deny it. He hopes she’ll open her mind one day. She tells him to leave. Lee Gon takes advantage of her offer to pay and gets himself carryout. Tae Eul isn’t impressed. She tells him to keep spinning tales in his fantasy world.

Lee Gon heads to Tae Eul’s house to visit Maximus. She asks why the horse won’t eat the carrots she offers. Lee Gon asks if she tastes the carrots first. She flounces to the house. Lee Gon tells the horse to be nice to Tae Eul. He nudges Lee Gon who chuckles.

Lee Gon and Maximus have chemistry!
2019… Kingdom of Corea…

Jo Young enters Lee Gon’s study and sees all the equations on the walls. Recall Lee Gon has written similar equations in his hotel room.

Flashback…Jo Young asks Lee Gon why he continues to study the autopsy report from Prince Buyeong. It clearly shows the body was Lee Rim’s. Lee Gon believes the body is symbol from Lee Rim to make them believe he’s dead. Lee Gon wonders how this body can have the same DNA as Lee Rim.

Jo Young wonders where Lee Gon is.
2019… Republic of Korea…

Min Hwa Yun (Shin Jae’s mother) enters a book store late at night.

During a thunderstorm, Lee Gon grabs his shoulder. He doesn’t see anything but each bolt of lightning causes pain in his behind his shoulder. We see the ribbon of nerves light up.

That was interesting.

Prime Minister Goo visits her mother Koo Seo who owns a shop that sells food with living quarters behind it. She grouses her mother has a soft spot for the neighborhood children. She heads to her room and asks her mother prepare her a meal. Knowing her daughter has a grueling schedule, her mother urges her to nap before she eats. Prime Minister Goo asks about the walking stick in the house. Her mother reports a customer left it and assumes he’ll returns for it soon.

I like the actress Kim Jung Young who portrays Prime Minister Goo’s mother.
2019… Republic of Korea…

Prince Geum Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) (Lee Gon’s uncle) walks alone.

Tae Eul can’t get Lee Gon out of her head. She’s dismayed when her car breaks down. She pulls over. She calls her father but Lee Gon answers. She’s taken aback. He hangs up on her. Lee Gon admits he wanted to do that to her once. Ha! Lee Gon reports her father is in a meeting. She admits her car broke down. Lee Gon queries her about the car’s details. She scoffs that a man of science wouldn’t know anything about cars. He tells her he’ll be there shortly.

Lee Gon runs to Tae Eul. She informs her the car service center will be there shortly. Time stops for a moment. Only Lee Gon can move. Recall Lee Rim had a moment like this in a previous episode. Lee Gon steps closer to Tae Eul and smiles at her. Time begins again. Tae Eul is taken aback that Lee Gon is close to her. He tells her time stopped. She doesn’t believe him. He believes it might be a side effect of the time portal. Tae Eul tells him to take care of her car. She leaves. Lee Gon murmurs he now has a car.

I love scenes with beautiful autumn colors.

Lee Rim enters a bookstore. He goes to a particular book where a note states the king is not in the palace. His minion greets him. Lee Rim asks how his team is doing. He’s assured progress is being made.

Lee Gon drives to the bamboo forest. He hears the flute. He looks at the crop. He realizes this is the key to accessing the time portal. He recalls cutting the magic flute in two when Lee Rim killed his father. He realizes Lee Rim is using the magic flute to travel between the two worlds.

The crop has his half of the magic flute. Episode 2 is when Court Lady Noh gave a young Lee Gon the crop that has half of the magic flute.

Lee Rim and his minion visit his group of assassins who train for the day they’ll next assault the Kingdom of Corea. Lee Rim’s half of the magic flute is in his walking stick.

Head Detective Park reports the covered weapon has the DNA of the victim and criminal Kim Bok Man. Tae Eul points out that Kim Bok Man denies everything. She has a feeling that Bok Man is being framed. She points out they have to do their do diligence and investigate more thoroughly.

Tae Eul and Shin Jae search. Shin Jae finds an old flip phone stored under the cash drawer of the register. He gives it to Tae Eul. She reports the victim’s wife has fled. Shin Jae urges her to trust the evidence. He gives her the flip phone he found. A thug calls to Shin Jae who mutters the past is rearing his ugly head today. He tells Tae Eul the approaching thug is someone he put in jail 3 years ago. The thug strides up with a cadre of men. He promises Shin Jae will pay. Lee Gon arrives. The thug asks if the three of them will fight his men. Lee Gon states he’ll merely watch. The thug orders his men to attack. The fight ensues. Lee Gon watches Shin Jae and Eun Sub fight. He recalls she told him she became a cop because she wanted to become brave. When the thug approaches Shin Jae from behind with a knife in hand, Lee Gon tosses his sunglasses under the thug’s foot alerting Shin Jae. The thug is angry and orders his men to attack Lee Gon. Sighing Lee Gon states he doesn’t like to be touched, but if he must engage, he will. He handily dispatches the remaining men.

After the fight, Tae Eul demands to know how Lee Gon knew where she was. It was GPS. Shin Jae brings bandages and a snack. The men spar. Lee Gon is forced to walk behind Shin Jae and Tae Eul. He joins them for food. Shin Jae offers to pay. Lee Gon asks him to cover his food too. Shin Jae tells him to come with him.

Outside the eatery Lee Gon tells Tae Eul he’s returning to his world. He’s been away too long. Tae Eul asks if he figured out how to activate the time portal. Lee Gon admits he knew but didn’t want to leave her. Tae Eul wishes him goodbye and strides away. Lee Gon watches her go.

Shin Jae drives Lee Gon who promises to pay Shin Jae back for the lunch another time. Shin Jae asks who made the saddle. Lee Gon doesn’t know. Shin Jae asks about the logo on the saddle. Lee Gon says the logo in from a parallel world where he is king. Shin Jae strides away disgusted.

Tae Eul asks the technician to process the flip phone. He assures her he’ll get to it.

Myung Na Ri (Kim Yong Ji) surprises Tae Eul when she informs her, she paid Lee Gon’s outstanding hotel bill. She claims Lee Gon told her he was a king in a parallel universe and would pay her back and more. Na Ri is sure he is rich.

Lee Gon visits a bookstore. He pulls a book for poems from an author Tae Eul referenced earlier. He reads the poem which Court Lady Noh intones the poem in a voiceover.

Tae Eul returns home. Maximus is gone. She’s torn.

Lee Gon stares at the time portal then back. Court Lady Noh intones “the one I loved.” Lee Gon thinks “the one I loved.”

Lee Gon gets ready to spur Maximus into the time portal.
My Thoughts

More interesting moments in this episode. Writer Kim Eun Sook gained some traction with engaging me. I’ve been watching this series but not connecting. What drew me in this episode? Lee Gon’s penchant for science, Shin Jae’s story and recognizing the royal logo, and Myung Seung A / Myung Na Ri stealing every scene she’s in.

King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) realized the time portal was being used not only by him. He realized the magic flute is the key. He has half and Lee Rim has the other half. I like that Lee Gon is a thinker. I like that he admitted to everyone – Tae Eul, Shin Jae, Na Ri, and Eun Sub he is a king in parallel world. No hiding the truth by Lee Gon! His declaration that he loves Tae Eul seemed too soon. The explanation must be that he’s loved her from afar. Their real-life interactions aren’t warm…yet. He did have a warm interaction with Maximus. Lee Gon’s half of the magic flute is in his crop while Lee Rim’s half of the magic flute is in his walking stick. What was the item that was left in Prime Minister Goo’s mother’s shop?

Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) can’t believe but doesn’t totally disbelieve Lee Gon. I don’t blame her for not believing him. Who would with the evidence he’s provided? I’m guessing Lee Gon will have to take Tae Eul to his world to prove the validity. Can she exist in both worlds? Would something happen to her alter ego in the parallel world?

Jo Young (Woo Do Hwan) interactions with Seung A were a highlight. Once again, watching him stiffly engage with Myeong Seung A, who had the edge was a delight. I enjoyed the flashback where Lee Gon proposed that Lee Rim’s body didn’t mean Lee Rim was dead. Lee Gon is no dummy.

Prince Geum Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) (Lee Gon’s uncle) has assassins training for the day he’ll return for another attempt in the parallel world. This character undoubtably will become more prominent later. The clash between Lee Gon and Lee Rim should be worth watching.

The third song of the OST is sung by Kim Jong Wan and titled “Gravity”. The video has the lyrics.

I rank this episode as almost very good, 7.5 on a 10-point scale.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on https://kjtamusings.wordpress.com/.

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Posted in Recaps, The King: Eternal Monarch
26 comments on “The King: Eternal Monarch Episode 3 Recap
  1. beezrtp says:

    kjt, I haven’t read this yet but wanted to tell you that you need to correct the title of the recap. My email said Episode 4 recap, which sent me looking for the episode 3 recap in my email. When I couldn’t find it, I thought you’d skipped episode 3, but this is it.

    Like

  2. Iris says:

    Ah thank you for noticing the woman in the bookstore being Shin Jae’s mother; I was wondering if anyone else noticed. I think the woman in the bookstore is Shin Jae’s mother’s kingdom world counterpart which makes Shin Jae having the kingdom emblem in his notebook more interesting. I think she was the same woman serving tea during Seung A’s interview with head court lady, so she’s one of the moles leaving messages in the bookstore for Lee Rim.

    Like

  3. Jane Tilly says:

    Yep, too early for Lee Gon 🤴🐴 to be in love with Tae Eul. I think she will have to see the other world 🌎 to believe it. Chemistry ⚗ needs to build between them. So far, we have separate chemicals being observed in their containers … I see interest … but chemicals 🧪🧪 need to be titrated and combined to get a reaction ⚗💥.

    I also like a science-minded Lee Gon 🤴🐴, especially that he was wary that Rim-C’s autopsy report (actually Rim-K) didn’t mean he was actually dead; which he recognized BEFORE he ventured into Korea and he now realizes that Rim 🎨🦯 has likely been traveling between worlds. I suppose Gon 🤴🐴 would consider Rim is planning a coup.

    Did Rim 🎨🦯 leave his walking stick at the restaurant belonging to the Prime Minister’s mom on purpose❓⁉️ Is mom sympathetic to Rim or is Rim trying to curry the favor of the Prime Minister❓⁉️

    I concur that now we have some backstory on Shin Jae 🤜💢, he has become more interesting. Why is Corea’s logo in Shin Jae’s 🤜💢 notebook❓⁉️ Was it related to a case involving Rim and some nefarious business❓⁉️

    Like

    • beezrtp says:

      JT! What I tell you about them college words?! 😆 😆 😆
      verb
      past tense: titrated; past participle: titrated
      CHEMISTRY
      ascertain the amount of a constituent in (a solution) by measuring the volume of a known concentration of reagent required to complete a reaction with it, typically using an indicator.
      “the sample is titrated at a pH near 10 with EDTA solution”

      That’s okay. If I remember it – I just learned a new word!

      Liked by 1 person

    • beezrtp says:

      Now that I’ve gotten my vocabulary word for the day out of the way 😆-
      I agree that the OTP can’t possibly be in love but I think Lee Gon has convinced himself since childhood that he loves her. Hopefully. as they live past his childhood infatuation, well get to see some real chemistry.

      BTW – and you know this is true because I’m not a huge LMH fan – but his skin! HIS SKIN! Some scenes when he’s lit in the sunlight and very up close [in my Wicked Witch of the West voice] I’m melllting. I’m meeeelting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not a huge LMH fan – but his skin! HIS SKIN! Some scenes when he’s lit in the sunlight and very up close [in my Wicked Witch of the West voice] I’m melllting. I’m meeeelting!
        LOL! He does have what appears to be velvety perfects skin. His close ups don’t disappoint.

        Like

      • Jane Tilly says:

        Agreed on the skin … I kept thinking he looks a little different than in the past. I wonder if he has had the top of his nose trimmed down slightly. Look at the pic at the top and scroll down for more pics on this link:
        http://star.koreandrama.org/lee-min-ho/

        Like

        • beezrtp says:

          JT, girrrrrl – don’t get me started. I’ve been in an ongoing argument on YouTube with certain LMH fans who insist he’s never had work done on his nose.

          Here’s how my eyes see it: First note that I liked LMO’s pre surgery nose. But when I look at his nose in dramas before Boys Over Flowers – that’s a different nose. Then post BOF his nose was more pointy by the time he did Personal Taste. But by the time he did City Hunter, he had a full on -unattractive IMO – BEAK! But then in Faith he seems to have had it reduced back to the size in Personal Taste.

          I know that sounds like a lot of nose “fixing” but this is S. Korea and I also know that Koreans don’t consider it surgery if no cutting is involved but they do place a fake bridge in the nose which might be what he’s been doing as he keeps tweaking to get it how he wants it. And so his fans argue he hasn’t had his nose “done”.

          I don’t get why they can’t just accept it. I promise you that I love Ji Chang wook every bit as much a they love LMH but I have to face the fact that that’s not his original nose (which I loved by the way).

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jane Tilly says:

            Placing a fake nose bridge instead of surgery makes sense as the difference is very small, but I swear it looks different … But HOLY COW 🐄 his skin does look marvelous …

            Like

        • beezrtp says:

          JT, I scrolled through those pictures again – none of them even show his pre BOF nose.

          A few years ago, I watched a show – can’t recall the name of it – but it had LMH and a black actor as high school students who were at odds but ended up having to depend on each other away from the school. Of course, I was interested because of seeing a black character in a Kdrama way back when. LMO’s nose was nothing like it was in BOF.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. beezrtp says:

    Great job, kjt being able to recap this confusing up to now drama.

    My confused notes while watching:
    In Korea – didn’t Lee gon say that even identical twins don’t have the same DNA so even if Det.Tae Eul found a match for him it wouldn’t be exact? Flashback in Corea – But then he says the DNA matched of Lee Rim (although he felt something was off).

    Corea – the clock in Lee gon’s office shows the time as 11:51 2019 10/10. This is while Indestructible Sword is looking for Lee gon.
    FALSE LEAD on my part – Det Tae Eul says it’s 2019 in Korea too. And the date did end up matching when she got her i.d. reissued. hmmm

    I hope Shin Jae doesn’t become a bad guy (even if he becomes part of a love triangle with the OTP). I like the actor too much.

    I did not like (or understand) the advice that Det.Tae Eul’s dad gave to Shin Jae. I’d understand it if it came from someone else but from the heroine’s dad (presumably a good guy), that seems like strange advice to give.

    back to ep2 – was the boy Korean Lee Gon or was he Korean Lee Rim’s child? Is the woman Korean Lee Rim’s wife? Then was the child Korean Lee Gon or was he Korean Lee Rim’s son? (sorry, I’m stuck in a loop and we’re just getting started). I mean, I’m led to believed he’s Korean Lee Gon because of the parallels of him challenging Corean Lee Rim but… was there another child there at the house besides Korean Lee Gon? The child the police said through the door to Korean Lee Rim’s wife that “your son is dead”? 😵🤕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beez, I’m not sure if I’m getting all the details correct, but I’m trying. For this episode, I watched it start to finish, then did the play by play blog. I think that helped.

      I’m led to believed he’s Korean Lee Gon because of the parallels of him challenging
      I agree with that. But “your son is dead”, I’m not sure if that was referencing Korean Lee Gon. It would seem so. Perhaps they were the surrogate parents after Lee Gon parents died.

      Like

    • Jane Tilly says:

      Beez, I’m pretty sure the boy in episode 2 was Lee Gon-K, but he had a different name. His dad was Lee Ho-K (probably a different name). I believe the disabled Rim-K lived with his brother, Ho-K, and Ho-K’s wife and son (Gon-K) … with Ho-K and wife (Gon-K’s mom) taking care of the disabled brother. Ho-K was the one who bumped into Rim-C at the newsstand when Rim-C first traveled to Korea.

      Ho-K told Rim-C that Rim-C looked just like his brother, Rim-C then asked Ho-K where his brother was and the next thing we know Rim-C is at the Lee-K household killing Rim-K, then Gon-K and when Gon-K’s mom showed up delriously happy that her husband, Ho-K, had been killed in a “hit-and-run”, her bubble was burst when Rim-C rose from the wheelchair to let her know her son was dead.

      Gon-K’s mom (who knows what her name is?) stuck with Rim-C under the threat of her being suspect for the deaths of her husband and child on the same day, although I don’t know how Rim-C could get rid of that suspicion. Gon-K’s mom is likely living a higher lifestyle than before being with Rim-C. Gon-K’s mom clearly knows Rim-C is not her brother-in-law … I would suppose she knows he is from a parallel world 🌎 … but who knows what else she knows. We don’t know the nature of the relationship between Gon-K’s mom and Rim-C … are they lovers? … does she help him? It seems that Rim-C has followers in both worlds 🌎.

      Based on Rim-K’s autopsy it seems that DNA and fingerprints must be the same for same characters in the parallel worlds. Because Gon-K died at an early age, neither his fingerprints or DNA are on file … does that mean South Korea keeps a DNA database on its citizens … SCARY❗❗❗ I would suspect that the general personality of the same characters in parallel worlds are similar, but diverge based on their life experiences.

      Like

      • beezrtp says:

        Thanks, JT. For some reason I had become confused and started to think that Corean Rim was married to Korean Li Gon’s mom. I think their interaction in Ep. 3 threw me when she hit him in the back with that sponge (ha!) Thanks for straightening that out for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jane Tilly says:

          The thing is Beez, Lee Gon-K ‘s mom does have some sort of relationship with Rim-C … what type of relationship they have has not been revealed … maybe they are married … now

          Like

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