The King: Eternal Monarch Episode 11 Recap
2019…Kingdom of Corea…
While driving her motorcycle Luna (Kim Go Eun) notices she’s being followed and speeds up. Detective Kang turns on the siren. A truck strikes Detective Kang’s car. Luna stops and eyes the accident. She starts to drive away. She’s hit by a car. Two men take her away. Blind folded Luna listens as Prince Geum Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) approaches. He moves her blind fold. He notes they should be allies. She lives in her car, running errands for cash, and doesn’t know her parents, and will die soon unless she receives an organ transplant. Lee Rim states life is cruel. Luna counter that poking at her weaknesses is cruel. She calls him scum and refuses his ally offer. Lee Rim laughs. He tosses Tae Eul’s badge in the floor. Luna asks why he bothered photoshopping her. Lee Rim says this is her in another world. He tosses a photo of a young Tae Eul with her parents on the ground. Lee Rim says this is her family in the other world. Luna remembers Prime Minister Goo believing she was someone else. Lee Rim offers her a new life. A tear rolls down Luna’s face. She murmurs that girl had every advantage. It makes her angry.
Lee Rim recruits another replacement solider for his army He had Tae Eul’s current badge.
News report Prince Byueong’s death and the King’s intention to find the culprit. Lee Rim walks by and smiles.
King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) is in the front at Prince Byueong’s funeral.
Flashback…Prince Byueong holds a young Lee Gon’s hand. Other moments when they were adults.
Prime Minister Goo Seo Ryung (Jung Eun Chae) watches Lee Gon during the funeral. She smiles.
Later she admits to herself that a king in despair works for her purposes. Her secretary brings an envelope of KU Group with a note from her ex-husband. Inside are photos of Lee Rim. PMR remembers her mother saying a man that looked like Lee Rim came by. PMR can’t believe what she’s seeing. She looks at the newspaper (from the Republic of Korea) and wonders if the photos and newspaper are connected.
Her happiness over Lee Gon’s despair, just put her in scum bin.
2019…Republic of Korea…
The roommate killer, Jang Yeon Ji, now in prison, tells Lee Rim’s assistant that she mailed the flip phone to herself before she was incarcerated. She notes the postmaster will only make a couple of delivery attempts. She asks if he’s going to get her out of prison. He assures her he will.
The prison security cameras blank as Lee Rim’s assistant walks by.
Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) and Detective Jang coordinate on an arrest of a young woman.
Kingdom of Corea…
Court Lady Noh Ok Nam rests are Prince Byueong’s funeral. When everyone leaves, she opens her eyes.
Flashback…Court Lady Noh gives Prince Byueong his robe for the ceremony. He chuckles that she visits him when the King and Prime Minister Goo have an all nighter reviewing the yearly reports. Court Lady Noh claims Prime Minister Goo doesn’t bother her. She confirms that Lee Gon returned in time. Court Lady Noh finally admits that while Prime Minister Goo may be pretty, there is nothing else to recommend that sly weasel woman. Prince Byueong laughs.
Court Lady Noh cries with grief.
The doctor reports the Court Lady Noh was given a sedative to help her sleep. He notes once the autopsy is complete, the king will receive the report. He leaves. Tears fill Lee Gon’s eyes and fall down his face. He cries with grief.
Republic of Korea…
Tae Eul looks at the small bear Lee Gon won her.
Flashback…Lee Gon tells Tae Eul he loves her, a lot, and is love with her. They kiss. Then he’s gone. Tae Eul’s voiceover “I could tell he was from a different time, not a different world. Perhaps that was the day I made my mind up about many things.”
Tae Eul wonders if she’s been dumped. She vows to teach Lee Gon a lesson when he returns.
Tae Eul gets a call from her forensics friend that Jang Yeon Ji committed suicide. Detective Gang Shin Jae (Kim Kyung Nam) arrives and Tae Eul informs him. Tae Eul learns CCTV footage isn’t available due to a power outage. The forensics friend warns Tae Eul that she may be investigated because she visited Jang Yeon Ji in prison. Tae Eul thanks her for the heads up. She tells Shin Jae that Jang Yeon Ji was murdered. Shin Jae notes the crime did not happen in their jurisdiction. Tae Eul says finding Song Jeong Hye (looks like Lee Gon’s mother, raised Lee Gon’s Republic of Korea counterpart (Lee Ji Hun) until Lee Rim killed him) is the important task at hand. Shin Jae asks who Shin Jae is. Tae Eul informs him she’s the was the guardian for Lee Ji Hun, the boy’s marker Shin Jae visited. Tae Eul believes Shin Jae is with Lee Rim.
At the crematorium, Tae Eul and Shin Jae learn that Lee Ji Hun has no contact POC on file and 5 years of upfront cash payments have been made. Shin Jae and Tae Eul sigh. Shin Jae want to review the crematorium CCTV footage from the parking lot. Tae Eul counters they need find out what Shin Jae looks like. Shin Jae says he knows what she looks like because she visited when he visited. Shin Jae asks who Lee Rim is. Tae Eul says Lee Rim is the evil instigator and likely the person that brought Shin Jae to Republic of Korea.
Outside the bookstore, yo yo boy is wearing the bunny ear hoody Luna gave him. When she arrives, he offers the knife she left in the pocket. She tells him to keep it and use it to protect himself. She gives him the keys to her cars and tells him to take whatever he wants from it. In return, he need only feed her cat Luna. Yo yo boy asks if she’s going to steal something. Luna asks if he believes in god, which he does. Luna murmurs she’ll surely be punished for what she’s about to do. She asks why the string is red on his yo yo. The boy notes someone showed him how to restring it. Luna thinks he may need to restring it soon. She leaves.
Prince Byueong’s son Seung Heon isn’t kind to Lee Gon when he picks up his father’s effects. He tells Lee Gon his father was used by the royal court.
Flashback…Via phone Seung Heon argues with his father about returning to Korea, letting Lee Gon become king and get the money. Prince Byueong is firm. His family cannot return to Korea. He hangs up.
Seung Heon tells Lee Gon he’ll move into his father’s house once he sells his medical practice in LA, CA, USA. He suggests he take over as the royal physician, manage the foundation, and declare him his successor. Lee Gon tells Seung Heon that he cannot return to Korea. Lee Gon firmly states Seung Heon will not be his successor, Se Jin is his successor. Seung Heon gets angry. Lee Gon tells him to leave Korea after the 49-day mourning period is complete. Seung Heon approaches. Lee Gon calls to his security team to monitor every movement by Seung Heon until he leaves Korea after the 49-day mourning period is complete. Seung Heon doesn’t like it. Lee Gon doesn’t care.
Prince Byueong’s autopsy report is ready. Lee Gon learns that Prince Byueong was strangled to death. The signet ring found on Prince Byueong’s hand is given to Lee Gon. The doctor believes the ring was put on Prince Byueong’s finger after he was killed. In addition, the slain royal guard were quickly killed. The doctor leaves. Lee Gon’s voiceover as his fist closes over the signet ring “Lee Rim isn’t hiding his intentions. He is calling me to stand on my father’s blood and provoking me with my uncle’s blood”. Lee Rim tosses the signet ring. Time stops. Knowing that means that Lee Rim has left Kingdom of Corea, Lee Gon snatches the signet and strides away. The royal court ladies are startled when the king appears in the hallway (when time restarts). Lee Gon’s security man Seok comes up and apologizes for getting distracted earlier. Lee Gon tells Security Seok that he is leaving, hopes to return soon, but it may take some time. His secretary appears with news articles Prime Minister Goo has released. Lee Gon believes Prime Minister Goo wants to tie him down. He wants to talk to Prime Minister Goo. Her office informs his secretary that Prime Minister Goo has taken a sick day. Lee Gon wants to talk to her now. His secretary hurries away. Lee Gon tells Security Seok to determine who guarded Prince Byueong for the last 6 months.
Republic of Korea…
Exiting the pharmacy, Shin Jae knows someone is watching him. He throws Lee Rim’s assistant to the ground and demands to know why he’s being followed. Lee Rim’s assistant cuts his hand with a broken bottle. Shin Jae tosses the man his wallet. He informs him that injury and robbery exempt him from police protocol. He knocks Lee Rim’s assistant to the ground. Lee Rim’s assistant draws a knife and manages to pin Shin Jae to a wall with the knife at his throat. The man smiles and declares he’s not supposed to kill him. Shin Jae throws the man over his shoulder, to the ground, and stands on the hand holding the knife. He asks who said not to kill him. Lee Rim’s assistant holds up a flip phone and states the man this phone will connect him to will be by his side. If Shin Jae lets him go, the phone will ring but if he arrests him, the phone won’t ring. Shin Jae asks who pays the phone bill. Lee Rim’s assistant declares Shin Jae won’t catch him anyway. A car drives up forcing Shin Jae to move out of the way. Lee Rim’s assistant gets in the car and escapes. Shin Jae watches while blood drips down his arm.
Tae Eul has Detective Jang write the arrest report which is forgotten when the injured Shin Jae walks in. As Detective Jang gets the first aid box out, Shin Jae puts the flip phone on Tae Eul’s desk. She’s stunned. Tae Eul takes Shin Jae to the hospital.
After he’s taken care of Tae Eul asks what happened. Shin Jae believes the man that brought him to Republic of Korea, Lee Rim, must be behind the offer of the phone. Shin Jae wonders why he was approached. Tae Eul suggests they both meet with the intermediary. Shin Jae wonders what they are pursing. Tae Eul doesn’t know all the details but they have to pursue anyhow.
Kingdom of Corea…
Lee Gon reads the logs of who guarded Prince Byueong for the last 6 months that Security Seok provided. His secretary reports Prime Minister Goo is in her home, but can’t be reached. Lee Gon says Prime Minister Goo has doing what he does when he is locked in his study. Lee Gon decide to wait to understand her game. He studies the logs. He considers where Prince Byueong went during his last visit in the city (bookstore in the slums). Lee Gon remember Prince Byueong telling him the footsteps one takes while risking it all is fate. Lee Gon murmurs Prince Byueong knew he’d check the logs. Lee Gon grabs his coat and tells Security Seok to get the team ready for an outing.
In the tunnels, Lee Gon asks Lee Rim’s captured soldiers if they know the bookstore. CEO’s son double says he doesn’t know anything. Kim Gi Hwan (part of the assassins that killed Lee Gon’s father 24 years ago) claims he’s the needed connection to Lee Rim. Lee Gon says what the Gi Hawn knows he doesn’t need. CEO’s son double begs to be sent back. Lee Gon says he’s dead in that world, as the man knows because he committed the murder of the real CEO’s son. Lee Gon reminds Gi Hawn that in this world, his word is law. He orders him beheaded.
The new reports Gi Hawn’s upcoming execution which interrupts the press coverage of Seung Heon’s mourning activity.
Republic of Korea…
Tae Eul remembers moments with Lee Gon. It boils down to if she’ll say yes to his declaration that she become his queen. Lee Gon asks if she’ll accept. Tae Eul asks if she doesn’t, will he disappear? Lee Gon assumes that means no. Tae Eul counters that she wants to live today for today. Lee Gon notes then they won’t declare eternal love, but enjoy today for what it brings them. Tae Eul says they’ll assume there is no tomorrow and they’ll live for the day. Lee Gon suggest they could do more than hold hands. Tae Eul notes he left her alone in the palace, when more could have happened. Lee Gon promises he’ll do more next time.
Tae Eul sees Prime Minister Goo’s double walk past her. She follows her and asks to check her ID. The woman asks for Tae Eul’s badge. Tae Eul provides her badge. The woman provides her ID. Tae Eul reads Koo Eun A born in 1982. Tae Eul returns the woman’s ID and lets her go.
Koo Eun A tries on shoes in a store. Tae Eul watches until her father calls then she leaves.
Luna looks at picture of Tae Eul. Her hair is dyed. Luna watches Tae Eul shop with her father for food. We see Luna was wearing a wig previously. She trims her hair to match Tae Eul’s.
Tae Eul practices at the Taekwondo academy. She looks at the pot with the seeds from Kingdom of Corea that haven’t sprouted yet. She feels light headed. She collapses on the ground. She tries to reach her phone, but passes out.
Koo Eun A dressed spiffy just like Prime Minister Goo, visits Myung Na Ri (Kim Yong Ji) eatery. She asks to see a menu noting this is her first visit. Jo Young enters. He’s shocked to see a woman he believes is Prime Minister Goo. Koo Eun A stares at him too.
Kingdom of Corea…
Lee Gon realizes the time freeze windows are increasing every time. He determines the time freeze windows are increasing by the square root of a prime number. He realizes the 62th time freeze window will last 24 hours. The bigger realization is one day both worlds will stop forever.
Wow, that’s a leap!
Security Seok reports they’ve found the bookstore and the man that runs it. Lee Gon recognizes the man as one of the assassins that attacked his father, a man he thought was dead.
Lee Gon goes to the bookstore with a security team intending to raid the location where Lee Rim’s traitors meet. Lee Gon tells his men to enter with the intent to kill. Inside, Lee Rim’s assistant smiles at the money and eats ramen. Then a spray of bullets. Lee Rim’s soldiers escape out the back. Lee Gon’s men dispatch them. They enter the book store.
Republic of Korea…
Lee Rim tells his assistant that his counterpart is no longer useful. He tells him it’s time to take over the bookstore.
Kingdom of Corea…
Lee Rim’s assistant bleeds on the ground and grasps the money. He says this is why I never knew what anyone was really thinking. He dies. There are multiple bodies in the bookstore. Lee Gon walk through and sees Lee Rim’s assistant. He asks Security Seok to check for a wound in his right shoulder. Security Seok reveals no previous injury to the right shoulder. Lee Gon clinches his teeth.
Tae Eul is tied up and gagged. She stirs. She sees 9 men. She recognizes sees a boy through a crack in the door. It’s the yo yo boy.
Lee Gon realizes those with the same faces are taking their counterpart’s lives. He tells Security Seok to retreat and gather the unit and put them on standby fully armed. Lee Gon walks out of the bookstore thinking “hang on Tae Eul. I’m coming for you. I will find you no matter what. Please just be there, no matter where you are.”
The yo yo boy removes Tae Eul’s gag. She tells him to leave and save himself. He counters he warns people of danger and defeats the enemy. He tells Tae Eul there is only one of him and he just came from the other world. He slices through the ropes binding Tae Eul’s wrists. He hands her the knife. He says he’s trying to restore the balance. He says there are too many enemies. Tae Eul asks who he is. She takes the knife. Two men enter. She disarms them and grabs a gun. She shoots other men that enter. She takes the car keys. She looks behind her. The boy is gone. She gets in the car and drives away. The men get in another car and follow her. Tae Eul doesn’t have her phone. The highway says Busan palace. She realizes she’s in Corea not Korea.
I assume yo yo boy used Luna’s knife to unbind Tae Eul’s wrists.
Lee Rim’s assistant reports Lee Gon’s security team kills the people in the bookstore. Lee Rim notes his nephew is more blood thirsty than he knew. A security man reports Tae Eul escaped but is being pursued by 3 of their team. Lee Rim kills the man. Lee Rim believes Tae Eul must be headed for the palace. Lee Rim declares that alive or dead, Lee Gon will come for this woman. Men head out to find Tae Eul.
Tae Eul runs out of gas. She has 3 bullets. She hears the car pursuing her. She stands in the road and shoots out the tires. She runs.
Why don’t tires get shot more often in shows?
Tae Eul hides then spies a pay phone across the street. She calls the “wish the king a happy new year hot line”. Tae Eul leaves this message “Gon, you wouldn’t believe me, but I’m in Corea. I’m being chased. I’m heading to the palace”. The automated voice states her message has been recorded and disconnects. Tae Eul continues “looks for me when you get this message.”
A truck smashes into the pay phone. Tae Eul ducks and lands on the ground. The driver walks over to Tae Eul and pulls her up. Tae Eul hits the man and hobbles away. She struggles to cross the street. She sees a gaggle of Lee Rim’s men heading her way. With only 3 bullets she knows she’s done for.
Then helicopters cover the sky and police cars arrive. The king’s men rush down the street with Lee Gon leading the charge on Maximus. Tae Eul sobs as she watches the man she loves coming for her. Lee Gon orders Tae Eul protected as she is the future queen. A melee between Lee Rim’s men and Lee Gon’s men ensues. Lee Gon welds the 4-tiger sword to great effect. Tae Eul sobs as she watches the fight. Lee Gon continues to make progress through Lee Rim’s men.
Once through Lee Gon locks his eyes on Tae Eul. She staggers towards him. He rushes to her and sweeps her into a hug.
This show is humming now. Writer Kim Eun Sook keeps peeling the mythology onion that this show is based on. We’ve all been trying to figure this show out. Writer Kim isn’t making it easy for us. What’s the saying? Nothing worth having comes easy. That could be one theme of this series. There’s more than meets the eye to this series. What worked in this episode? Lee Gon’s brain did it again. Dang, this king is smart. He realized Tae Eul was in danger AND in Corea. I don’t know how but I’m glad he did. Watching him ride to Tae Eul’s rescue was a swoon worthy moment for one of the smartest leading men in kdramas.
King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) showed no mercy on Lee Rim’s tribe of traitors. Lee Rim was surprised when Lee Gon’s men wiped out the bookstore team. Wait until he gets a wind of what Lee Gon did to his primary tribe. Lee Gon’s brain is swoon worthy. He thinks AND figures things out. He realized out the time stops were increasing. He came to the conclusion that time would eventually stop in both worlds. Not sure how he came to that conclusion but let’s consider. Aren’t Lee Rim and Lee Gon the only two that can move when time stops? Is that where their battle will occur? Frozen time will they fight to restore or rule both worlds? But let’s move on. Lee Gon realized Prime Minister Goo was toying with him. Why that mattered enough that he stayed put, I don’t know but it worked out in Tae Eul’s favor. Lee Gon read through the logs of the men guarding Prince Byueong and realized that Prince Byueong knew he’d read the logs. Then the bookstore was found, and Lee Rim’s men were dispatched in 2 rounds. Let’s focus on Lee Gon’s swath through Lee Rim’s men while welding the 4-tiger sword. Frankly I was mystified that the sword stayed where it was all those years until an adult Lee Gon liberated the sword and took it to the palace. I’ve felt that the 4-tiger sword is an important object in this story but don’t know the particulars. Considering King Arthur was brought up a couple of episodes ago, could the 4-tiger sword be important when that storyline comes into play? I’ll admit I enjoyed Lee Gon shutting down Prince Byueong’s rude son in a decisive way.
Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) was kidnapped and replaced by Luna. Luna is in Korea and ready to step into Tae Eul’s shoes. Sorry, but I don’t believe matching hair will be sufficient for Luna to pull off Tae Eul. She’s a cop. She’s got coworkers. Shin Jae knows there are duplicates. I don’t see Luna’s replacement of Tae Eul in Korea going well. We’ll see. The most interesting interactions Tae Eul had were in Korea with Prime Minister Goo’s duplicate Koo Eun A, who turned into Prime Minister Goo’s look alike in a blink of an eye, and in Corea with the yo yo boy. He untied Tae Eul with the knife Luna let him keep (and gave it to Tae Eul). Then he told Tae Eul he wanted to restore balance. He also announced there was only one of him and he traveled between the worlds. How? Tae Eul used her skills and tenacity to avoid capture as long as she could. When it appeared that all was lost and Lee Rim’s minions loomed, Lee Gon’s counterstrike took place. Lee Gon ordered his men to protect the future queen of Corea. Lee Gon is determined Tae Eul will be Queen. Lee Rim is determined Tae Eul is the key to bring Lee Gon to him. She’s a hot ticket to both men. Is there hope for our couple? Are you all in on this couple too? All the moments they carve out in person or in flashbacks are working for me.
Jo Young / Eun Sub (Woo Do Hwan) was surprised to see Koo Eun A who he thought was Prime Minister Goo. Yep, that’s all that happened for this character this episode.
Prince Geum Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) (Lee Gon’s uncle) lost a bunch of men. Lee Rim believes if he has Tae Eul then Lee Gon and the other half of the magic flute will fall into his possession. He may be right. Even though Lee Rim is the big bad of this series, he has a certain amount of panache as he executes (literally and figuratively).
Detective Gang Shin Jae (Kim Kyung Nam) was offered the flip phone. This surprised me. Lee Rim knows Shin Jae is transplanted from Corea because he personally did the transplant. Flip phones have been offered to those doubles that have pledged their loyalty to Lee Rim. What does Lee Rim want from Shin Jae? How long will it take Shin Jae to realize Luna is not Tae Eul? Anyone else think Shin Jae has as much ethical fiber as Lee Gon or Jo Young?
The tenth song of the OST is “My Day is Full of You” sung by Wendy and Zico. The video is full of moments of our couple:
I rank this episode as terrific, 9 on a 10-point scale.