The King: Eternal Monarch Episode 15 Recap
2020…Republic of Korea…
Flashback…Tae Eul meets Lee Gon when he rides Maximus through town. King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) says finally they meet. Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) tells Lee Gon he really came as he said he would. Lee Gon looks at her and says it is strange that she seems to know him. Tae Eul looks at Lee Gon and says she’s going to skip over this and do something she’ll regret not doing later. She hugs him.
Tae Eul’s voiceover “when its fate there are no consequences, it is inevitable, but when you realize the meaning, it is too late.”
How painful it must be for Lee Gon and Tae Eul to know or not know who the other is in various points in time.
Tae Eul struggles with the effects of the knife wound from Luna. Her father calls and tells her he beat up the boys that were harassing her. She hears the police sirens. He says he’ll call her back after he talks to police. He hangs up. Tae Eul slumps the ground. Two people find her and call an ambulance.
Detective Gang Shin Jae (Kim Kyung Nam) learns his mother met with Song Jeong Hye, the mother of Lee Gon’s counterpart (in Korea, Lee Ji Hun). Jo Young tells him to check the security footage from the hotel and track Song Jeong Hye. Shin Jae asks why Jo Young followed his mother. Jo Young (Woo Do Hwan) doesn’t answer that and instead asks if Shin Jae will help him. Shin Jae gets a call on the “direct to Lee Rim” flip phone.
Prince Geum Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) (Lee Gon’s uncle) tells Shin Jae he knew him long ago as Kang Hyeon Min.
Flashback…Lee Rim approached an abandoned young Shin Jae and promises to help find his mother.
Shin Jae asks why Lee Rim hasn’t aged. Lee Rim states not aging was the first crack in the space time continuum. His nephew (Lee Gon) was just a child now he’s a threat. Shin Jae doesn’t care about their family squabbles. Lee Rim bashes him on the head with a piece of wood. Shin Jae falls to the ground. Lee Rim tosses two photos of Shin Jae’s Korean and Corean mothers on the ground. Lee Rim declares Shin Jae must do as he says or his mothers will pay. Lee Rim orders Shin Jae to obtain and bring him Lee Gon’s whip. Lee Rim is okay if Shin Jae kills Lee Gon in the process. Shin Jae retorts he’s not a good son. Lee Rim doesn’t believe him. He steps on Shin Jae’s mother’s photo as he leaves the room.
Lee Rim always collects.
Flashback…Kingdom of Corea…Shin Jae’s Corean mother declares it’s best if they both kill themselves. Naturally a young Shin Jae resists jumping from the bridge. Lee Rim arrives and shows Shin Jae’s mother her debt paperwork. She says she has 1 more day to pay. Lee Rim suggests that instead of killing themselves, they give him their lives and he’ll set them on a new path. He tells Shin Jae’s mother she’ll work in the palace and her son will gain a rich father. Shin Jae’s mother recognizes she’s talking to Prince Geum. She says he’s dead. Lee Rim says this is a one-time opportunity. Shin Jae’s mother looks at her son then agrees.
Shin Jae stares at the picture of his mothers.
Myung Na Ri (Kim Yong Ji) tells Lee Rim that his scar has created a new fate line. Lee Rim recalls the scar was created when a young Lee Gon welded the 4-tiger sword and cut the magic flute in half. Lee Rim asks Na Ri what his fate is. She says he is fated to commit treason as if it was old times. His punishment would be beheading in old times. Lee Rim recalls his older self warning him about the failed coup then killing him. Lee Rim says he should have listened to his old self and killed the young crown prince (Lee Gon) before his father. Jo Eun Sub (Woo Do Hwan) enters and tells Na Ri holding hands with customers isn’t a good idea. Na Ri explains she’s started reading palms. Eun Sub offers his. Eun Sub stares at Lee Rim and murmurs he feels like he’s seen him before. Then Eun Sub realizes who Lee Rim is. He pulls Na Ri behind him. Lee Rim tells Eun Sub to give his nephew a message that they should meet on the death anniversary of his mother. Lee Rim threatens Na Ri if Lee Gon doesn’t show. He leaves. Eun Sub starts to call Tae Eul. Na Ri points to Tae Eul.
Eun Sub rushes to Tae Eul (though it is really Luna). He tells her Lee Rim was just here. Shin Jae arrives. He asks Luna if she’s okay. Luna (Kim Go Eun) clutches her side. Shin Jae points out it was her other side that was injured. He grabs her before she can flee. Tae Eul walks slowly towards them. Na Ri is shocked. Tae Eul asks Eun Sub to take Na Ri away. Tae Eul asks why Shin Jae’s head is injured. Tae Eul punches Luna.
That must have felt good, even though it hurt.
Jo Young questions Luna while Tae Eul and Shin Jae watch. Jo Young asks if Lee Rim told her to poison the king. Shin Jae holds up pain killers common for cancer. Luna confirms she’s got late stage cancer. Tae Eul says she wants to talk to Luna alone. Jo Young and Shin Jae leave.
They leave the building? Tae Eul is physically weak from her wound.
Tae Eul asks Luna if she avoided her organs when she stabbed her so she could be harvested. Luna notes the Tae Eul isn’t afraid. Tae Eul asks why Luna didn’t stab her enough to kill her. Luna recalls Tae Eul’s kind father. Luna claims she didn’t want to upset Tae Eul’s father. Tae Eul asks about Luna’s life. They both make the same gesture to touch their hair. Then time stops.
Lee Gon runs through the time stop into the police station but Tae Eul isn’t there. When time starts, Lee Gon asks Detective Jang and Detective Shim where Tae Eul is. He sees the calendar and realizes he’s finally in 2020. He introduces himself as Lee Gon and asks where Tae Eul is.
Outside the hospital a nurse chides Tae Eul for leaving. Tae Eul admits she’s waiting for someone. Then she sees him. She sees Lee Gon running to her. He hugs her fiercely. She hugs him back tears in her eyes. He asks if she’s well and been waiting for him. Tae Eul cries she’s missed him. Lee Gon apologizes for taking so long. With tears in his eyes, he says he’s sorry.
I’m all in on this couple. I feel them. They have gone through so much. They deserve a Happily Ever After. Will they get one?
In her hospital room, Tae Eul holds Lee Gon’s hand and asks him to stay. Lee Gon says he’ll stay. Tae Eul asks him to stay tomorrow. Lee Gon says he’ll stay. He settles her in bed. She wonders if he’ll leave once she falls asleep. Lee Gon gets into bed. She teases him about his outfit. Lee Gon quips he didn’t have money to buy a new one. She thanks him for visiting her when she was 5 and 27. He thanks her for hugging him when he came to Republic of Korea the second time. She asks if he remembers what happened between them. Lee Gon nods yes.
Flashback…This time Tae Eul believes Lee Gon’s claims about who he is. She gets the time travel. She’s willing to go to Corea. Tae Eul’s voiceover “but tragedy came earlier too. What was bound to happen, happened.” Tae Eul tries on the jacket she’ll give Lee Gon. She puts a hair tie in the pocket.
Lee Gon asks if there’s no way they can change fate. Tae Eul doesn’t think so. She says they haven’t reached their fated destination yet. Lee Gon urges her to sleep. Lee Gon watches her sleep.
Outside the hospital Lee Gon calls Jo Young. Shin Jae and Jo Young arrive. Shin Jae recalls the call from Lee Gon when he asked the phone be handed to Tae Eul. Shin Jae reminds Lee Gon about the phone call 4 years prior. Jo Young reminds Lee Gon about him coming to him at the rowing contest in Corea. Lee Gon teases them he’s in the right year because they look older. Shin Jae murmurs Lee Gon can travel back and forth in time. Jo Young reports they’ve found Song Jeong Hye. Shin Jae says he owes him, perhaps with his life. Lee Gon understands that Lee Rim has threatened Shin Jae’s two mothers. He asks if Lee Rim told Shin Jae to kill him. Shin Jae asks if Lee Gon would die for him, noting it would be better to die in Corea. Lee Gon says killing someone not well know is easer than killing a king. Shin Jae leaves. Lee Gon asks Jo Young about Song Jeong Hye.
Jo Young takes Lee Rim to Song Jeong Hye’s house. He hasn’t seen Lee Rim yet. Lee Gon wants Jo Young to follow Lee Rim into the bamboo forest. Jo Young reports Eun Sub called him stating he’d met Lee Rim who mentioned the memorial for Lee Gon’s mother. Jo Young says Song Jeong Hye will be leaving for church soon. She walks past them, then turns and looks at Lee Gon. He looks at her. She walks towards him and says he must be Lee Rim’s nephew. She says Lee Gon looks like Ji Hun would have looked like, if he’s lived. She says Ji Hun died because of Lee Gon and he’ll die because of her. At least that what Lee Rim told her and why she’s been kept alive. Lee Rim’s man tries to stab Lee Gon. Jo Young blocks the knife. Jo Young calls Shin Jae. Lee Gon asks if Song Jeong Hye will be okay. He says his mother’s death anniversary is soon. Lee Gon believes Lee Rim will bring her to the death anniversary. Lee Gon says if she goes to Corea, she’ll never be able to return. He promises to help her. She tells him to meet her 2 days prior. Lee Gon starts to apologize about Ji Hun but Song Jeong Hye cuts him off. She tells him not to die because of her. Song Jeong Hye says she isn’t his mother. She walks away.
Good conversation. I’ve wondered if Lee Gon would be affected by Song Jeong Hye. He knows she’s not his mother. She bluntly said the same. Lee Rim’s plan is to use Song Jeong Hye at the death anniversary, but how?
Jo Young returns to the hospital with Lee Gon and promises to escort him later. He asks when Lee Gon will leave.
Lee Gon’s voiceover “Just for today, let me say goodbye.”
Lee Gon dries Tae Eul’s hair. She holds onto him. He takes her for a stroll on the hospital ground. He takes her to the chapel. She admits she asked god why they can’t have a future together. Lee Gon orders food after a child shows him how to use the ordering app. Tae Eul teases him about the youthful help. Lee Gon feeds her. She muses they could sneak out. Lee Gon threatens to call the nurses. They giggle. She watches him sleep. He watches her sleep.
Jo Young says goodbye to Eun Sub. He thanks him for everything and wishes him well. Eun Sub grouses he won’t get upset nor see him off. Jo Young tells Eun Sub to get his driver’s license. Eun Sub admits he wants to see Jo Young again. Jo Young hugs him and hopes they meet again one day. Eun Sub cries and declares they have to meet again.
Awk! Tears! Those two have put it on the line for each other and those they love.
At the hospital, Tae Eul suggests one day they do everything they had to skip over in their relationship like movies and travel. She cuts him off when he starts to say what she knows he must. She tells him not to save the world and stay. But Lee Gon’s look tells her that won’t happen. Tae Eul says she knows Lee Gon plans to go to the past and stop Lee Rim from coming to Korea. Lee Gon doesn’t deny it. Tae Eul points out if he does this, she won’t have any memories of them because they’ll never meet. Lee Gon says their worlds are awry because of all this. He must stop it from happening. He asks her to tell him to go. He says he wants her permission to leave. He admits she can stop him. Tae Eul takes his hand and with tears him her eyes asks him to return to her, no matter what. She tells him to catch Lee Rim and if the doors between their worlds close, he must open all the doors in the universe to return to her. She cries. He promises. They hug. He vows to return to her.
Awk! Tears! This couple has gone through it yet understands there is a big picture beyond their personal relationship that requires the potential sacrifice of their relationship. It reminds me of Goblin.
2020…Kingdom of Corea…
Prime Minister Goo Seo Ryung (Jung Eun Chae) watches Lee Rim approach her in the tunnels. She complains that he made her wait. Lee Rim says she can no longer be queen or Prime Minister. She suggests she get Lee Gon’s item like what Lee Rim has in the umbrella. Lee Rim throttles her and sneers she had two options, win Lee Gon or the power of the kingdom, but she’s blown both. He orders her to find a way for him to attend the death anniversary for the queen. He declares they along with the queen will be raised from the dead. Lee Rim promises to tell everyone there are two worlds – Corea and Korea. Time stops. Lee Rim murmurs his nephew has returned. When time starts, Lee Rim is gone and a photo of Song Jeong Hye is in Prime Minister Goo’s hands.
Am I a terrible person for enjoying Lee Rim throttling Prime Minister Goo?
Lee Gon and Jo Young return to the palace. Court Lady Noh Ok Nam is relieved to see him. They hug. He thanks her for letting him return. She comforts him.
Lee Gon’s secretary tells him they’ve told the public he was grieving privately for Prince Buyeong. She tells him Seung Heon (Prince Buyeong’s eldest son) is due to leave soon. Lee Gon recalls finding a young Seung Heon allowed Lee Rim to escape after the failed coup that killed his father and injured him. Recall Lee Gon shot in him the knee. Lee Gon asks his secretary if Seung Heon has a limp. She confirms that. Lee Gon tells her he’ll see Seung Heon off personally.
Seung Heon rubs his knee as his car takes him to the airport. He’s cut off by the royal procession. Irked he exits the car. Lee Gon exits his car. Lee Gon shows Seung Heon the bullet he shot him with on the night of the coup. Seung Heon is shocked and angered. Lee Gon says the best thing Seung Heon ever did was hid his treason from Prince Buyeong. Lee Gon declares Seung Heon will never return to Corea again nor will he be buried here. Seung Heon tries to discuss this. Lee Gon orders that Seung Heon is in permanent exile. Lee Gon strides away not turning when Seung Heon yells and falls after him.
Nothing like Lee Min Ho full of righteous fury!
Park Sook Jin (Shin Jae’s Korean mother) is handed clothing to change into by Security Park.
Shin Jae waits for his mother in a bridge. She’s stunned to see him. He steps back from her. She swears giving him up was her only option. She apologizes. Tears fill Shin Jae’s eyes. He asks if giving him up was deliberate. She tells him she wanted him to have a better life. Shin Jae says his life hasn’t been a good one. He cries. He tells her not to expect forgiveness from him. He says this is a one-time visit. He wanted to wake from this bad dream. He says this time he is giving up on her. He walks away. She goes down her knees and cries.
Dang, Shin Jae gets my heart every time.
Shin Jae gripes about the quality of Lee Gon’s food. Lee Gon quips is the company drives the food. Shin Jae thanks Lee Gon for the day. Lee Gon promises his mother wont’ be hurt and notes he’s paid his meal debt. He asks if Shin Jae will return to Korea. Shin Jae asks if Lee Gon will return to the past to attempt to stop Lee Rim from entering Korea. Lee Gon confirms that is his plan. He believes when Lee Rim is choking him in rage, that’s his best chance. Shin Jae asks why he didn’t do this before. Lee Gon admits his goal was to save himself, not stop Lee Rim. Shin Jae realizes that if Lee Gon doesn’t save himself, he’ll disappear. Lee Gon counters that Shin Jae will never leave Corea. Lee Gon says he must do this to right all the wrongs Lee Rim’s actions have caused. Lee Gon tells Shin Jae this will be there last time together, and his last chance to kill him. Shin Jae quips he should have poisoned the beer. He asks if Tae Eul knows what Lee Gon intends to do. Lee Gon states she does not.
Nice scene. Two ethical men chat about self-sacrifice.
Lee Rim tests his new rifle. Song Jeong Hye shoves food in her face so she doesn’t have to eat with him. She smiles. She spits up blood. She calls him a fool. He spits up blood. Song Jeong Hye declares she can finally die. She falls to the ground. Lee Rim calls from Ms. Baek. She fills the syringe to administer the antidote. But time stops. Lee Rim can’t administer the antidote because the syringe is frozen in the bottle. He grabs his half of the magic flute, the shotgun, and leaves.
Song Jeong Hye had the perfect opportunity to kill herself and Lee Rim but she blew it. Granted the copious blood dripping down her was theatrical, but if only Lee Rim had ingested more poison before she started gushing blood.
Lee Rim walks through the street shotgun in hand. Lee Gon walks through the street towards him. Lee Rim demands to know how Lee Gon found him. Lee Gon states he’s not alone, someone else has worked for this moment. Lee Gon snarls that Lee Rim attending his mother’s anniversary is a despicable plan. Lee Rim counters that is where Lee Gon should have met him. Lee Rim raises his shotgun but nothing happens when he pulls the trigger. Lee Gon says time is stopped for a while now. Lee Rim knows the length has been increasing. He rages that Lee Gon is stealing time he should be able to enjoy. Lee Gon counters that Lee Rim’s manipulation of the magic flute to not age has put the world on a death spiral. Lee Gon says it ends today.
Time starts. Lee Rim raises his shotgun. Before he can pull the trigger, he’s shot in the leg and goes down. Jo Young and Shin Jae stride up behind Lee Gon. Jo Young’s gun is trained on Lee Rim. Lee Gon takes Lee Rim’s half of the magic flute.
At the bamboo forest, Jo Young waits holding half of the magic flute. He says this can’t be. Lee Rim’s time portal can’t be summoned until Lee Gon puts the magic flute in Lee Rim’s hand. He’s in handcuffs with Shin Jae there. Lee Rim scoffs that Lee Gon must have known his time portal could only be summoned by him. Jo Young gives Lee Gon the other half of the magic flute. Holding both halves Lee Gon tells them to wait.
A new time portal appears. Lee Gon believes this is his father’s time portal. Lee Rim declares this is the moment he has waited for all his life. Lee Gon murmurs that he can’t hear the flute like he normally does. Lee Rim scoffs that now the flute is whole it won’t play. He tells Lee Gon this is the edge of eternity and urges Lee Gon to forget about the treason and enter the time portal with him. Lee Gon states without the magic flute playing he can’t go back in time and right Lee Rim’s wrong doing on the night of the coup. Lee Rim can’t believe that Lee Gon is turning down eternity to change what happened on one night. Lee Gon believe he must let Lee Rim open his door. Lee Rim scoffs that he can be forced to open the door, but what he does once he enters won’t be what Lee Gon plans unless someone forces him to comply inside and that is a death mission. Lee Gon vows that Lee Rim will die a miserable death. Jo Young offers to escort Lee Rim. Shin Jae offers to escort Lee Rim.
In Between World…
Lee Gon stands with both halves of the magic flute. He asks how far he must go.
Republic of Korea…finally the we’ve come to the moment of the first scene of episode 1…
Tae Eul asks Shin Jae how he apprehended Lee Rim. Shin Jae says he tracked Song Jeong Hye who is dead. Shin Jae says it is time to question Lee Rim.
Kingdom of Corea…
Lee Gon stares at the photo of Song Jeong Hye. She is cremated while Lee Gon watches with Jo Young in attendance. Lee Gon walks away.
Song Jeong Hye is out of Lee Rim’s clutches.
Lee Gon tells his secretary that Prince Buyeong’s granddaughter Se Jin is the next in line for the throne. He states if anything happens to him, Se Jin must be crowned. His secretary is taken aback.
Republic of Korea…
The flowers Lee Gon gave Tae Eul that she dried, start dropping petals and then disappear. This alarms Tae Eul.
At the police station she asks Lee Rim where the magic flute is. Lee Rim yells that everyone is making stupid choices. He tells her she should be afraid. Tae Eul says she’s afraid Lee Gon will be alone forever because of the choices he feels he must make. Lee Rim scoffs that isn’t what she should be worried about. He claims he’s sent his nephew and Prime Minister Goo to hell.
Kingdom of Corea…
Lee Gon hears the news report that Prince Buyeong’s granddaughter Se Jin was killed in a car accident caused by Ji Young. He’s stunned and upset.
The accident was the price Ji Young had to pay to return to Corea.
Prime Minister Goo is stunned and upset too. She murmurs Lee Rim used Ji Young to kill Se Jin. With shaking hands Prime Minister Goo calls her mother and asks what she had for dinner. Her mother asks if her daughter has eaten. Prime Minister Goo tells her mother to answer her. Her mother says she had noodles. Prime Minister Goo drops the phone and screams.
Interesting. What does it mean?
Tae Eul removes the handcuffs from Luna. Suspicious, Luna asks why she’s freeing her. Tae Eul says she’s going away perhaps for a long time and she needs Luna to take care of her father. She asks Luna to steal something for her.
Luna enters the police station.
Shin Jae meets Tae Eul. He asks how Luna got away. Tae Eul says she let her go. Tae Eul believes Shin Jae has the magic flute. She asks him to give it to her. Shin Jae claims he doesn’t have it. Tae Eul asks why Shin Jae brought Lee Rim to the police station when he can’t be punished in this world. Tae Eul believes that Shin Jae wanted to use the station to hold Lee Rim for 48 hours. She assumes Shin Jae promised to bring Lee Rim to the bamboo forest in 48 hours. Tae Eul tells him to give her the magic flute. She must go there. Shin Jae points out if Tae Eul leaves, she may not be able to return. Tae Eul says she can’t live alone and stay in Korea. Shin Jae snaps he won’t let her go. He murmurs its time. He admits he cares for her and always has. He likes her. He can’t let her go and potentially die. Tae Eul grabs him and begs him to give her the magic flute. Tae Eul counters her feeling for Lee Gon overwhelm her. She promises to come back and make it up to him. She begs him to help her live the life she wants.
That was a powerful scene. Has Lee Gon considered what Tae Eul might do?
Kingdom of Corea…
Lee Gon stares at his half of the magic flute. He guesses the gods knew he’d chose to kill Lee Rim instead of saving himself. He puts on the ceremonial jacket.
Court Lady Noh prays for Lee Gon. She sees him with the 4-tiger sword in the ceremonial jacket. Lee Gon thinks that the scar forced him to never forget to follow his destiny. Court Lady Noh asks what’s happening. Lee Gon says he wanted her to know first. He thanks her for keeping her secret and his for so long. He says the book of poems have gave her has the lullaby she used to sing to him. He admits he didn’t want her to return to her world. With tears in his eyes, he asks her to let him go. Tears fill her eyes as she asks if he’ll ever return. He orders her to stay healthy. He strides away. Court Lady Noh cries.
Republic of Korea…
Tae Eul puts on the necklace Lee Gon gave her in Corea. Recall she wouldn’t wear it unless it was a momentous occasion.
Kingdom of Corea…
Jo Young meets Lee Gon in the bamboo forest. He declares he won’t leave his side, no matter what may happen.
The time portal appears. Lee Gon and Jo Young ride to their destiny.
Everything is set up for the final episode. Writer Kim Eun Sook positioned Shin Jae, Jo Young, Tae Eul, and Lee Gon to be willing to sacrifice themselves. Lee Rim was captured and Lee Gon retrieve Lee Rim’s half of the magic flute. But the two halves didn’t make music. Lee Gon’s plan to sacrifice himself to stop Lee Rim from entering Korea was thwarted. Shin Jae and Jo Young offered to time travel with Lee Rim. Jo Young offered to go with Lee Gon and fight by his side no matter what might happen. But it was Tae Eul that realized she didn’t want to live without Lee Gon. She was willing to sacrifice too. I doubt all four of these characters will survive the final episode.
King Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho) plan to stop Lee Rim from entering Korea was thwarted. Having both pieces of the magic flute, didn’t create music. Lee Gon was able to summon his father’s time portal. Did his father time travel? We know his grandfather did when he brought Court Lady Noh to Corea, but there’s been no inkling that Lee Gon’s father used the king’s time portal. Lee Gon had to return to Korea to make sure Tae Eul was healing and to say goodbye. This is a lovely couple. Lee Gon’s encounter with Lee Rim was solid. Lee Rim couldn’t shoot Lee Gon when time was stopped. Frankly I enjoyed Lee Gon banishing the traitorous Seung Heon with righteous fury. I am a fan of this smart, forthright, capable king.
Detective Jung Tae Eul (Kim Go Eun) healed and decided she couldn’t live without being with Lee Gon. Tae Eul realized Luna was the answer to not leaving her father alone. Smart girl. Now Tae Eul can live in Corea as Lee Gon’s queen because Luna will take care of her father for as long as she lives. Of course, Luna has cancer, so her father will grieve the loss of “his daughter”. I was a bit surprised when Tae Eul implored Shin Jae to give her the magic flute. She admitted she can’t live without Lee Gon. What is she planning? It is more than going to Corea. She knows Lee Gon is going to sacrifice himself. She can’t allow that. She will make her own move. Has Lee Gon realized that Tae Eul might take matters into her own hands? My hats off to Tae Eul for using her brains and heart. She is an excellent match for Lee Gon intellectually and emotionally.
Jo Young / Eun Sub (Woo Do Hwan) refused to let Lee Gon follow his destiny alone. Jo Young did exactly what he should do. He IS the unbreakable sword. He MUST be by Lee Gon’s side. I enjoyed the goodbye scene between Eun Sub and Jo Young. I had to chuckle when Eun Sub’s younger sister motioned to Jo Young that she was watching him. Jo Young couldn’t help but find her laser intuition charming.
Prince Geum Lee Rim (Lee Jung Jin) (Lee Gon’s uncle) is desperate to achieve eternal life but couldn’t convince Lee Gon to pursue it. Lee Rim did not believe that Lee Gon didn’t care about stepping through the king’s time portal to achieve immortality. Lee Rim has been a crafty villain but this episode piled on the previous one and things didn’t go his way. Song Jeong Hye managed to poison herself and die. Lee Rim didn’t ingest enough poison to harm himself. He claimed he was going to use the death ceremony to resurrect Lee Gon’s mother and himself. Bold move. Almost like using magic to reappear in Corea and take power from Lee Gon. But it appears that plan was thwarted when he was captured. We’d all wondered what the heavily pregnant Ji Young’s importance was. Turns out she killed the next in line to the throne. That put the hurt on Lee Gon. It wasn’t clear what Lee Rim did to Prime Minister Goo’s mother. She didn’t remember the code word mackerel. What did Lee Rim do to her? Frankly, it didn’t bother me when Lee Rim throttled Prime Minister Goo. She must play a role in the final episode as part of team evil.
Detective Gang Shin Jae (Kim Kyung Nam) met his Corean mother and told her goodbye. Shin Jae’s story continues to evokes my empathy. His meeting with his mother was matter of fact yet packed with emotion. I liked seeing Shin Jae in Corea having a beer with Lee Gon. But Tae Eul figured out that Shin Jae was using the 48-hour custody role to put Lee Rim on ice in Korea. She realized he had Lee Rim’s half of the magic flute. She begged him to give it to her. He finally admitted he cared for her deeply. Tae Eul told him she cared for Lee Gon even more and she couldn’t live alone in Korea. I doubt Shin Jae could deny the woman he loved.
What’s my wish list for the final episode?
* Our couple ends up together. Initially I wasn’t wild for Tae Eul and Lee Gon as it seemed one-sided on his part. But the journey they’ve taken in this series has me all in on this couple. In Goblin, Writer Kim let the couple find a path back to each other. This series has a similar flavor and I’m betting Writer Kim will give our couple a happily ever after.
* Lee Gon lives. Tae Eul lives. If they are a couple at the end, they have to live, that’s a given.
* Jo Young and/or Shin Jae will die. It’s not what I want but I believe one someone is going to sacrifice their life. When Writer Kim introduced the Sword and the Stone, I thought Shin Jae might be a royal relative. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. He’s had a tough life. He’d be willing to sacrifice for Tae Eul’s ultimate happiness. The same goes for Jo Young. He is Lee Gon’s unbreakable sword. He’d sacrifice himself to save Lee Gon.
* Team Evil loses. Lee Rim, Prime Minister Goo, etc. are down but they aren’t out. I don’t know what machinations they’ll manufacture in the final episode, but it will test Team Good, who must prevail.
* Writer Kim cleans up and wraps up. This series has brought out our inner detectives as we’ve all sleuthed out the clues to understand where Writer Kim was headed. She needs to wrap this up series with a bow. There are so many support characters and items to resolve. Can she do it in one episode? I hope so.
I rank this episode as terrific, 9 on a 10-point scale.