The King: Eternal Monarch Episode 8 Recap
2019…Republic of Korea…
Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) stares at her police badge. She remembers Lee Gon stating that someone with her face exists in his world. She wonders who took her badge.
2019…Kingdom of Corea…
Prince Geum Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) (Lee Gon’s uncle) stares at Tae Eul’s badge in the book used for communication. He recognizes her from pictures he’s taken in Korea. His assistant says that badge doesn’t belong in this world. Lee Rim notes Tae Eul is entangled with this world already. Lee Rim’s assistant says this woman is Luna in this world. For a price, she’ll find people or steal. Lee Rim directs his assistant to bring Luna to him. Lee Rim stares at the badge and wonders when he’ll meet Tae Eul.
Tae Eul’s voiceover “at that moment I sensed the transcendental power that was trying to restore balance. I wish I’d known more before we raced into the situation. This is fate.”
Outside the jail…Luna (Kim Go Eun) exits the jail. She puts the bunny ear sweatshirt hood over her head. She starts to light a cigarette. A car pulls up. Luna drops the cigarette. Prime Minister Goo Seo Ryung (Jung Eun Chae) gets out of the car and approaches Luna. Prime Minister Goo says they’ve met before. Luna pulls off her hood and grouses that Prime Minister Goo owes her a cigarette. The two women stare at each other. Prime Minister Goo notes casual speech isn’t appropriate. She reminds Luna they’ve met. Luna denies it. Prime Minister Goo is sure that Luna is the woman she met. Luna walks close and warns Prime Minister Goo not to mess with her. Prime Minister Goo tries to stop her from walking away. Luna removes Prime Minister Goo’s hand and warns her she’ll throw a punch if Prime Minister Goo touches her again. Prime Minister Goo asks if he knows she’s an ex-con. Prime Minister Goo realizes Luna doesn’t know her. She asks if Luna has a twin sister. Luna points out if Prime Minister Goo knew when she was to be released, then she knows all about her. She strides away.
In an ice cream shop, Luna prepare to extract retribution on the man that helped put her in jail. She bashes him with a chair. The man falls to the ground. He demands to know how she got out. Luna hits him again. In the alley she takes the man’s money. Luna tells him she’s got nothing to lose but he has a wife and child. The man begs her not to hurt his child. He promises to return the insurance money. She warns him to get the money ready soon or else.
Republic of Korea…
Tae Eul meets with the administrator of the care center where the person of interest, Lee Seong Jae, died in 1995. The administrator notes the records and workers don’t date back to that date. She notes only herself and the director have that longevity. Tae Eul asks if she can meet with the director. She’s told the director is rarely in Korea. Tae Eul has to leave empty handed when the administrator asks for a warrant.
Park Ji Young’s counterpart in Republic of Korea (Prime Minister Goo’s sister) listens to the recorded news of Kingdom of Corea on the flip phone provided. She does her makeup and dresses like her counterpart. Ji Young tells her unborn daughter soon they will live someplace nice. She stares at photos of Kingdom of Corea Ji Young and Prime Minister Goo. She murmurs the baby will have a prime minister as an aunt.
Kingdom of Corea…
Prime Minister Goo tries to understand the differences between the two women. Her mother calls to check on her. Her mother tells her she had a weird dream and to drive safely and let no one take anything from her. Her mother states she didn’t send her daughter a newspaper. Lee Rim returns for the umbrella he left. Prime Minister Goo’s mother tells him to wait and she’ll get it.
Outside the bookstore, the boy reads. Luna arrives. He hands over a key. She gives him her jacket. She tells the boy she has money and enemies. She leaves. They boy looks at the jacket.
Republic of Korea…
Detective Gang Shin Jae (Kim Kyung Nam) visits the Head Detective Park’s wife for forensics information. He thanks her. She tells him the victim was sedated then two wounds caused the death. She agrees investigating the roommate is wise. She asks if Shin Jae is a smoke shield for her husband’s late nights. Shin Jae assures her Head Detective Park is with them.
At the crime scene Shin Jae tells Tae Eul that the victim was sedated then stabbed. Shin Jae tells her he’s looking hard at the roommate and she can continue pursuing the boyfriend.
Shin Jae arrives at the police station asking for his mother, Min Hwa Yun. Mother and son stare at each other. Shin Jae confirms he is a cop. The officer warns his mother won’t get off easily next time. Shin Jae signs for her release.
King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) takes his trusted security man Jo Young (Woo Do Hwan) to try a new favorite dish Lee Gon has enjoyed during his travels to Republic of Korea. The thug and his men recognize Lee Gon as they exit the eatery. Recall Lee Gon helped Shin Jae and Tae Eul defeat the thugs. The thug notes he has 7 men while Lee Gon only has 1. Lee Gon smiles and tells Jo Young not to kill. Jo Young laughs. Lee Gon is shocked, it isn’t Jo Young with him, it is his Republic of Korea counterpart Eun Sub (Woo Do Hwan). Eun Sub explains that Jo Young sent him to eat with Lee Gon so he could attend to other matters. Lee Gon tells Eun Sub to stand behind him or run if necessary. Eun Sub runs away. The thug laughs. He orders his men to handle the matter. Lee Gon whips his crop out and begins. Jo Young arrives and being to dispatch the remaining men. Eun Sub watches from a distance. Jo Young is unmasked. Head Detective Park and Detective Shim observe the fight. They can’t believe the Eun Sub can fight that effectively. They approach. The men run away when Head Detective Park shows his badge. Jo Young recalls Tae Eul’s badge. SD grabs the thug and tells Eun Sub his fighting skills were a surprise. There’s a pause, then Jo Young acts like Eun Sub and demurs he was only helping save someone from the thug. The thug claims there is something odd, this guy ran away. Head Detective Park asks Lee Gon why he is staring. Lee Gon starts to introduce himself but Eun Sub cuts him off ordering him to not interrupt elders. Jo Young claims this is his clueless friend from Busan. He leads Lee Gon away. Eun Sub watches them go.
Lee Gon complains about Jo Young’s insults. He promises to behead him but stays the order. He draws a dot on Jo Young’s face. He warns Jo Young not to remove the dot or face beheading. Lee Gon calls Tae Eul and reports he has moved into a hotel. Lee Gon is impressed with the cold brew coffee stocked in the fridge. Tae Eul orders Lee Gon to meet her. Lee Gon orders Jo Young not to follow him.
Tae Eul watches Lee Gon stride towards her in the afternoon sun. He notes her timeliness. She asks if he’d had fallen for her if she hadn’t helped him. He assures her he would.
Tae Eul’s voiceover “it took me a long time to realize, when it is fate, there are no coincidences. Your fate is determined by your choices. But sometimes your fate chooses you.”
Tae Eul tells Lee Gon she’s off to a stakeout and wanted to see him. She asks if all is well. Lee Gon says this moment is the highlight of his peaceful day. She turns to leave.
Tae Eul’s voiceover “Things that are bound to happen are taking place even in this moment. I knew this would be short lived. So, I decided to love the fate that chose me.”
Tae Eul tells Lee Gon she loves him. Lee Gon is speechless. They pass a moment discussing Jo Young. Tae Eul turns to leave. Lee Gon calls to her. She turns. He says “ditto”. Tae Eul gets in her car and drives away. Lee Gon watches the woman he loves start drive away. Tae Eul stops, rolls down her window, and teases about what he said. Lee Gon assures her Jo Young won’t get caught.
I loved the idea of Tae Eul throwing caution to the wind and embracing her feelings and declaring her love. She knows it can’t last, but she has love, why not acknowledge it? Lovely!
Jo Young is stopped by Myung Na Ri (Kim Yong Ji). He immediately realizes this is Seung A’s counterpart. After grappling with what to do, he calls her over. Na Ri exits her car and tells him this better be good. Jo Young stares into her eyes, leans forward and asks if he likes her or does she like him. Irked, Na Ri hits him and declares this is why he doesn’t have a girlfriend. She wipes the dot off his face much to his consternation. She tells him to stop by later. She drives away. Jo Young touches his face.
Eun Sub is startled when Jo Young pulls him into an alley. He asks about Na Ri. Eun Sub demands that Jo Young tell him everything that was said between them. Eun Sub admits he likes Na Ri. Jo Young shakes his head at his counterpart.
Tae Eul joins Detective Jang for the stakeout. She asks why Shin Jae switched with Detective Jang. He doesn’t know. They wait for the boyfriend to return home. Tae Eul asks if that was his first murder scene. He confirms that. She recommends that once the case is closed, he put it out of his mind. They agree to solve the case. The boyfriend is spotted. He runs. They chase him. Detective Jang catches him and captures him. He’s startled when the man stops breathing. Tae Eul texts Shin Jae they caught the boyfriend.
Shin Jae has dinner with his mother. She promises not to gamble again. She reminds him that she waited so long for him to wake, then when he did, that terrible thing happened to his father. Shin Jae’s mother claims she couldn’t keep it together. Shin Jae asks how his father is doing. His mother notes his father told her Shin Jae sent him money in prison. Shin Jae asks his mother if she was happy when he woke. She confirms him waking after one year in a coma was one of the happiest moments of her life. Shin Jae agrees.
Flashback…a young Shin Jae looks at the family photos.
Shin Jae tells his mother he was always happy to be her son. He admits he wasn’t always a good son. He apologizes. He asks herself not to gamble again. She apologizes for her bad habit. She tells her son, he’s her miracle. As they both grapple with emotions, Shin Jae dishes up the food and tells her mother to eat.
Kingdom of Corea…
Shin Jae’s mother goes to the book store, pulls out the communication book she and Lee Rim utilize and withdraws photos of Shin Jae in the parallel world. She tears up then cries.
Republic of Korea…
The boyfriend denies killing his girlfriend. Detective Shim and Detective Jang suggest he did. He explains that didn’t happen. Shin Jae, Tae Eul and Head Detective Park watch the interrogation. Head Detective Park notes they can only keep the roommate for 48 hours without conclusive evidence. Shin Jae reveals he found a script in the roommate’s possession that had a similar crime. Tae Eul gets a call from the roommate. She reports to Head Detective Park and Shin Jae that the roommate has decided to turn herself in.
Jo Young and Lee Gon go to the eatery. The manager recognizes Lee Gon. Jo Young notices too. Lee Gon says they need to leave. Jo Young doesn’t understand how Lee Gon was recognized. Lee Gon points out that the manager must not be from their world either. He believes the manager will flee and asks Jo Young to catch him. Lee Gon looks at the phone Tae Eul gave him. He examines the 5 contacts that Tae Eul preset noting these people would help him no matter what.
Kingdom of Corea…
Prince Buyeong looks at his son’s signet ring. He looks at a photo of his family. The family that is banished because of Lee Rim’s traitorous actions.
Prime Minister Goo’s mother finds a picture of the former royal family. She finds a picture identified as Prince Geum Lee Rim. She knows the man that came for the umbrella looked exactly like Prince Geum.
Republic of Korea…
Shin Jae and Tae Eul interrogate the roommate. She confesses to killing her roommate because she couldn’t stand her. She gives the same answer for texting the boyfriend. Shin Jae places her under arrest. He handcuffs her.
Tae Eul tells the boyfriend to call the police next time. She understands because he just lost the woman he loves. The boyfriend begs to differ. He was only sleeping with the woman, there was no love. He says she had 2 phones. That catches Tae Eul’s attention. She remembers a witness declaring the victim carried 2 phones. He doesn’t know if one of the phones was a flip phone. He complains he never got to break up with the victim. Tae Eul punches him. She warns him to be respectful of the dead or she’ll hit him again. Tae Eul states she needs to wrap the case up and move on.
Tae Eul searches the apartment looking for the second phone. She finds the charger.
Shin Jae is given the information on Lee Ji Hun, age 8, and told that Tae Eul requested it. Shin Jae is surprised that Tae Eul is investigating a boy that died 25 years ago. Shin Jae claims he knows what it this is about. He walks away wondering what this is about.
The manager leaves the eatery. Jo Young greets him with a gun. From the manager’s reaction Jo Young is certain the King and he were recognized. Jo Young knocks him out and takes him to Lee Gon. He searches the man and finds a flip phone. Lee Gon asks why the man is in the Republic of Korea. The man asks why the King is there. Lee Gon asks where Lee Rim is. The man laughs. He says Lee Gon looks like his father. He wonders if Lee Gon will die just like his father. Jo Young hits the man. Lee Gon guesses the man was part of the assassins that killed his father.
Flashback…We see the man was indeed part of the assassins that came with Lee Rim to take the magic flute and kill the King.
The man declares there is balance in what happened. He sneers that Lee Gon was born with every advantage so he shouldn’t whine about his dead father. Jo Young goes to hit the man again. Gripping the phone hard, Lee Gon stays Jo Young. Lee Gon declares only god can restore balance. What the man and Lee Rim have done is murder. He tells Jo Young to take the man back to Corea. The man screams at them to kill him now. Lee Gon examines the phone. It has no saved numbers. Lee Gon guesses it is a one-way device, in that the man merely receives messages. Lee Gon declares he’ll get to answer one phone. He orders the man to kill himself.
Wouldn’t the call history give Lee Gon a phone number?
The roommate is told she has a visitor. The lights go out. She’s shoved into a darkened room. Lee Rim’s assistant greets her. He asks why she turned herself in. She declares she had no other choice. He asks for the phone. She smiles and says it is well hidden. She declares she wants to go to the other side. Lee Rim’s assistant states murder wouldn’t help her cause. The roommate declares the victim overheard a phone conversation and had to die. She warns she’ll hand over the phone unless he gets her out of prison. Lee Rim’s assistant asks if she’s ever heard of a power outage in prison. The woman looks nervous. He declares he can turn the lights on and off whenever he wants. He warns her to call him when she remembers where the phone is. He leaves. The woman falls to the floor, afraid.
Lee Gon gives Na Ri a golden turtle as payment to rent her building. Tae Eul arrives. They smile at each other. She learns that Lee Gon had Jo Young follow her, so he knows about her day. He assures her Jo Young is busy with another task and won’t do that again. Tae Eul chides him for not following her himself. Lee Gon claims he can’t stay in the shadows well. Na Ri brings them drinks. She grouses that Eun Sub hasn’t stopped by for his noodles. Lee Gon tells Tae Eul he thinks that Na Ri likes Eun Sub. Tae Eul retorts it is the opposite, Eun Sub likes Na Ri. That surprises Lee Gon. Tae Eul shakes her head. She returns the autopsy report and states Lee Seong Jae died in 1995 in a care center. Supposedly it was a natural death. Lee Gon asks if the man had family. Tae Eul hesitates. Lee Gon asks if he exists in this world. She’s forced to admit his counterpart died when he was 8. Lee Gon believes Lee Rim killed him. He asks if there were other family members. Tae Eul shares the brother is dead, but his wife is alive. Lee Gon wonders if she has his mother’s face. Tae Eul says the wife’s name is Song Jeong Hye. Tae Eul invites Lee Gon to join her when she visits her tomorrow. Lee Gon agrees. They chuckle over drinks.
Shin Jae visits the Lee Gon’s counterpart, Lee Ji Hun, grave marker.
Flashback…Shin Jae watches Lee Gon assume the throne by officially mourning his father’s death.
Shin Jae realizes Lee Gon looks like the boy at this marker. Song Jeong Hye visits the grave marker. Shin Jae quickly leaves. Song Jeong Hye watches him go.
She watches him head into the police station. She reports Shin Jae visited Lee Ji Hun grave marker. She tells the driver to report what she said. She smiles and says she can’t die. She’ll only be brought back to life. She looks at her flip phone and cries. We see the cuts marks on her wrists where she’s tried to commit suicide.
Eun Sub is excited to leave the police station and go home. He finds Jo Young’s phone in the coat. He sees a picture of Jo Young and Lee Gon. He doesn’t hear Shin Jae come up behind him as he wonders who puts a picture of their boss as the wallpaper to their phone. Shin Jae congratulates Eun Sub for completing his assignment. He asks for the phone. Eun Sub doesn’t want to give it. Shin Jae presses he saw something weird and must examine the phone. Shin Jae takes the phone. He sees the photo of Jo Young and Lee Gon in their navy uniforms. Shin Jae demands to know where Lee Gon is. Eun Sub admits he’s staying at a hotel under his name. Shin Jae tells Eun Sub to accompany him to the hotel.
Kingdom of Corea…
Prime Minister Goo’s secretary brings her mail and invitations to various parties. Prime Minister Goo grouses she doesn’t attend parties. The secretary states another package from her family came. She hands Prime Minister Goo the envelope. Once again, she dismisses her secretary and finds a copy of the newspaper from Republic of Korea in it. She doesn’t understand why she’s getting this. She calls her mother and asks if she sent her a newspaper. Her mother says she did not. Prime Minister Goo cuts off her mother before she can share about Lee Rim. Prime Minister Goo muses that multiples mean the universe is speaking to you. She examines the newspaper. She doesn’t understand what she’s seeing. She’s startled when she sees a picture of her counterpart at a baseball game.
Republic of Korea…
Shin Jae enters Lee Gon’s hotel room. He looks around the room. He looks at the cell phone Tae Eul gave Lee Gon. He finds the autopsy report and sees the log. He reads the autopsy report. He reads Kingdom of Corea next to the logo. He remembers asking Lee Gon about the logo who stated it was from another country. Shin Jae flashes back to seeing a young Lee Gon mourn his father. Shin Jae feels another presence and ducks as Jo Young goes to strike him. They fight. Shin Jae hits the switch to open the blinds in the darkened room. He’s shocked to see Jo Young’s face. He realizes this isn’t Eun Sub. Shin Jae demands to know who he is.
Lee Gon enters the room. He sees his phone on the floor. He sees Jo Young with the autopsy report at the ready to strike Shin Jae. Lee Gon asks what’s going on. Jo Young gives Lee Gon the papers and explains Shin Jae was searching Lee Gon’s possessions. Lee Gon looks at the logo. He tells Shin Jae that he’s been wondering about the logo. He assumes Shin Jae still doesn’t know what it is. Shin Jae demands answers and approaches Lee Gon. Jo Young pulls out his gun. Shin Jae can’t believe that Jo Young has a gun. He asks Lee Gon who they are. Lee Gon steps to Shin Jae and asks if he answers, will Shin Jae believe him? Lee Gon reminds Shin Jae he’s told him who he is before. Shin Jae demands that Lee Gon stop lying. Shin Jae asks where Lee Gon’s kingdom is. Lee Gon tells him it is in another world. Shin Jae stares. Lee Gon says it is time for Shin Jae to talk. Shin Jae grapples with what his brain is telling him. He asks Lee Gon if his name is Lee Gon. Surprised, Lee Gon asks if Tae Eul told him that. Shin Jae asks if Tae Eul knows about this. Now Lee Gon is truly surprised. He asks who told Shin Jae.
Flashback…a young Shin Jae cries along with the grieving young Lee Gon.
Shin Jae asks if the crying boy was him. Shin Jae asks if he’s really Lee Gon.
Lee Gon’s voiceover “He heard my wailing. More people have come over than I ever imagined.”
Shin Jae grabs Lee Gon and demands answers. Jo Young warns him to back off. Lee Gon declares Shin Jae is the reason he must return to his world. Lee Gon tells Shin Jae he is his King. Shin Jae stares at Lee Gon in shock.
Now the story turns to Shin Jae. Writer Kim Eun Sook turned the page to focus on Shin Jae who has been experiencing flashbacks of Lee Gon mourning as a child. Turns out Shin Jae heard the young King’s mournful wails. Shin Jae couldn’t understand these flashbacks. He sought out Lee Gon’s counterpart’s grave marker. Song Jeong Hye saw him. I was surprised when she stated she couldn’t die and would be brought to life again while displaying the scars from the slits in her wrists. She must have a key part to play in the showdown. But back to Shin Jae, I’m glad that Writer Kim dealt him into this drama in a decisive way this episode. He has been on the periphery for long enough. Sun Jae’s story has heart with his messed up mother and her communication with Lee Rim via the bookstore.
King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) realized Shin Jae could hear him cry. Lee Gon continues to stay logical employing his smart science nerd brain in times where most would be rattled. He realized that more have crossed from Kingdom of Corea to Republic of Korea than he first thought. What will trigger the realization that Lee Rim is using the duplicates for his own nefarious purpose? Lee Gon knew the manager of the eatery recognized him and Jo Young. The man confirmed it with bravado. But the threat of returning to Kingdom of Corea reduced the man to beg to be killed. Why is that? On the romance side, Lee Gon and Tae Eul have an easy rapport. She told him she loved him. Truly shocked, Lee Gon was rendered speechless. He returned her sentiments with a simple “ditto”. I like this couple. They work well together. They respect each other.
Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) admitted she loved Lee Gon. Tae Eul accepted that her time with Lee Gon was short and there was no time to hide her feelings. She boldly declared her love. Lee Gon’s shock was real. She smiled when he dittoed his confirmation. I enjoyed her voiceovers. She is discovering what she can for her man. I respect that the brevity of their relationship doesn’t alter her support for the man she loves. Switching gears, Luna remains a mystery. Hardly likable, her role in the story is yet to be discovered. At least Prime Minister Goo realized Luna and the woman she met with Lee Gon aren’t the same woman. Just like Tae Eul had a flash of Luna in her rear-view mirror in a previous episode, Prime Minister Goo saw her Republic of Korea counterpart twice, in the reflection of her computer monitor and in the Republic of Korea newspaper. Interesting that Prime Minister Goo received the newspaper multiple times.
Jo Young (Woo Do Hwan) mimicked Eun Sub effectively. He fooled Head Detective Park and Detective Shim. He relished fighting off a group of thugs. He was shocked to see Seung A’s counterpart Na Ri. He scoffed that Eun Sub was the love sick one in the Republic of Korea. While I enjoy the “muscle” aspect of Jo Young, I’d love to see him engage his brain and catch up with Lee Gon’s thinking like Tae Eul has.
Prince Geum Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) (Lee Gon’s uncle) retrieved his umbrella. Prime Minister Goo’s mother recognized him from the history books. She didn’t have a chance to tell her daughter.
Detective Gang Shin Jae (Kim Kyung Nam) realized his flashbacks were of a young Lee Gon. I enjoyed the physical showdown between Jo Young and Shin Jae. I’m wondering if Shin Jae is the masked man that saved a young Lee Gon 24 years ago. Not sure why he’d have Tae Eul’s badge, unless it was his intent to leave it with a young Lee Gon. Too little information to do anything but guess, not effectively deduce. This series is mystery that reveals bits and pieces each episode.
The seventh song of the OST is “Please Don’t Cry” sung by Sunwoo Jung A:
I rank this episode as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.