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A king’s order: ‘The King’ episode 13 breakdown

By Ruel S. De Vera
06/4/20 10:14 PM

Netflix’s “The King: Eternal Monarch” has begun its reign over K-drama streaming, with one episode dropping every Friday and Saturday. Super will devote itself to make sure you’re fully informed about each episode, so Super’s Ruel S. De Vera and Ruth L. Navarra will recap and break down every episode for you as soon as it comes out. Make way for the king!

In order to keep up with the series, we’re going jump right to the newest episode, episode 13th. There was only one episode last week instead of the usual two.

Recap:

Corea: It turns out that Lady Noh is from Korea, and hasn’t heard of her hometown Hwangjae Province since the Korean War, which began in 1950. She asks Tae-eul if she knows anything about the town, but Tae-eul says that town was now part of North Korea. Lady Noh admits that, after she lost her family, a man came to her and offered to bring her to a world without war and she said yes, which is why she has been in the Kingdom all these decades. That man was the King’s grandfather, King Haengjong. This is why Lady Noh distrusted Tae-eul at the start. “Everything was my destiny, just like you wound up here,” she tells Tae-eul. “You have been the one guiding him to his fate. Please take good care of his majesty.”

Koo is confronting Lee Gon about the news of his finding a queen. Lee Gon owns up to it, saying he supports her. Koo seems smug because she knows of Luna, and is threatening him by standing against him. He is not taking it sitting down—literally. Then the lightning strikes, and both of them reel from the pain. Lee Gon realizes immediately that Koo has the same scars and his, and that she had killed her double in the parallel world. Koo is shocked to realize that Lee Gon has figured it all out. She leaves, claiming to not have recovered from her “sickness.” Lee Gon asks for the autopsy reports of the traitor who died from the scars.

Koo and Tae-eul confront each other, and Koo denies seeing her in the other world.  Tae-eul is having none of it. Koo is infuriated by this defiance. But lightning strikes, the scars hurt and Tae-eul sees them. She knows. She and Lee Gon confer. “If I decide to act recklessly as well, no one can beat me,” he says.

The forensics scientist says the traitor died because of the scars on his chest, which she’s seen on three other bodies on rainy days, all three serving terms in prison due to parricide, killing members of their families, obviously on other worlds.

In the hospital, someone is trying to poison Eun-sob, but he is awake. It’s a set up. The killer is a member of the Royal Guard, but Eun-sob had previously noticed a bug under the table and said he was being discharged. Lee Gon is there and the traitor is taken into custody.

Through a troubled Koo’s flashbacks, we can see she went to the Euso Bookstore and met with Lee Lim. She dares him to prove that all he is saying is true. In her office, we can see a pair of heels—the same heels she had been looking at in the parallel world.

Back at the palace, Lee Gon has found out that Tae-eul has gone off somewhere with security—this world’s version of Jangmi. He’s also named Jangmi—Jang Mi-reuk.

Meanwhile, Lee Gon has ordered someone to lean on Koo’s ex-husband. Lady Noh reports the finding of Park Suk-jin and that her suicide attempt was a failure; she’s still in the hospital. Lee Gon recognizes her as the mother of Shin-jae. She wants to speak in person. To be clear, she is this world’s version of the person and Shin-jae’s true mother. Lee Lim threatened her with a photo of Shin-jae, instructing her to poison Lee Gon, but decided to take the poison hserself. She asks for his mercy for Shin-jae, to protect him because he hasn’t done anything wrong.

In a luxurious salon, we now know that Park Ji-young’s place has already been taken by the pregnant woman and she’s memorizing her legend.

Korea: The real Park Ji-young is terrified upon waking up in this world in a shabby apartment. Luna is casing Tae-eul’s house when Do-in, who obviously doesn’t realize it’s not his daughter, walks up. They have an uncomfortable meal together. Luna studies Tae-eul’s room.

In a car, Lee Jun’s (this world’s dead Lee Gon) mother Song Jeong-hye bumps into this world’s version of Shin-jae, Min Hwa-yeon and they chat. They have a meal and Jeong-hye gives her a lot of money. Captain Jo is surveilling Jeong-hye and they share an elevator.

Corea: Tae-eul tells Lee Gon she has figured out the bamboo forest Lee Lim has been using. Lee Gon explains that time stops whenever the door is opened, and each time, stop in the two worlds stops a bit longer. Right now, it stops for an hour, but if the doors are still used, time will stop completely in both worlds. This means at one point they will have to stop using the door and the worlds will forever be closed to each other. Lee Gon says the flute has to be made whole again, meaning he will have to get Lee Lim’s piece.  Tae-eul plants Magic Lilly seeds in the nexus between worlds because Lee Gon believes organic material can grow there; she and Eun-sob cross to their world.

Korea: Luna watches Do-in warn some high school kids to stop smoking and to go to his taekwondo school so theyu can become cops. Tae-eul arrives and hugs her incredulous father who says he just say her. Tae-eul realizes Luna has been here. During a meal, Captain Jo says Shin-jae should have confessed his feelings to Tae-eul already. “There are people more distant than that even in the same world,” Shin-jae says. Shin-jae finds Luna and thinking she’s Tae-eul asks after her. Luna kisses him hard. The kiss is broken because her phone rings. Then, Shin-jae can’t find her. Out of nowhere, Tae-eul arrives and says her phone is around here somewhere. She realizes Luna has been here as well. Luna has Tae-eul’s cellphone and her ID card. Shin-jae is visibly shaken. Luna warns Tae-eul off: “If you see me now, you die.”  

Corea: Lee Gon conspires with Koo’s adviser to unseat her. Koo’s ex-husband agrees to cooperate with Lee Gon, offering proof of her treason. The adviser reveals that she has been surveilling Lee Gon. The evidence is aired on nationwide television. Koo’s mother faints in the market. Koo is told to leave the office and realizes it is her adviser who has betrayed her. She only takes her Korea shoes and secretary Kim with her: “Stay in your place as long as you want. I never stayed in my place. I was always soaring higher.”

Korea: Na-ri is with the twins when Eun-sob arrives and the twins know it’s him right away. They share a hug. At the station, Tae-eul finds out her ID card has been cancelled. Lee Gon gives Eun-sob a sports car as a reward. On Sunday. Tae-eul is ditching Do-in on her way out when she sees Lee Gon is sitting down at the table for dinner. She stays, and as a result, winds up blurting out that Lee Gon is her boyfriend, much to a surprised Lee Gon’s happiness. Tae-eul gives him a set of clothes to make him blend in more: a black windbreaker, black turtleneck and a black cap.

Shin-jae and Tae-eul visit the residence of Koo’s double Koo Eun-a. They search the wellness center where Lee Lim’s double supposedly died and the attendant is acting very suspicious. They find Eun-a dead in a freezer as they feared.

Corea: Lee Lim is walking on the pier, thinking deeply. He looks at a billboard of Lee Gon, a realization coming to his face.

Korea: Just then, Tae-eul arrives and gives him a beer. He realizes too late it is actually Luna. Just as he loses consciousness he figures it out: he realizes he now looks exactly like the person who saved him during Lee Lim’s insurrection. He realizes the present version of himself somehow saved the child version of himself, as seen in a flashback close-up where you can see it is indeed adult Lee Gon’s eyes in the same outfit Tae-eul just gave him.

Unlike other episodes, there is no preview at the end.

Breakdown:

Wow, what a series-changing set of revelations. The show really got kicking. The storytelling has settled down quite a bit, with long scenes in the different worlds instead of jumping back and forth as in early episodes. The reveal that Lady Noh is from the Republic of Korea really came out of left field, and now we know that Lee Gon’s grandfather had been using the flute to travel between worlds long before. Perhaps their ancestors had been doing the same thing since the ancient times.

There are two other fascinating developments. The first of course is the bit going on about the doubles. We now know that the people whose other selves were killed by unnatural means suffer from those lightning scars, and that they could be lethal if left unchecked. That they found out about this through Koo is amazing. It’s also frightening but dramatic. What did you think of this element?

The other development is the ticking time bomb that is the time stopping between the worlds. This is the inciting incident and now there is pressure to either stop using the door or somehow reconnecting the ends of the flute. This means some much to Lee Gon, as he will have to either make Tae-eul choose one world or the other, or confront Lee Lim. He will probably do both. Either way, he will have to face off impending doom for both worlds and protect the woman he loves. The stakes have been raised considerably.

Finally, the show is nearing its climax and this is clear by cleaning up the story threads. Eun-sob is home. We know who rescued Lee Gon as a child. All the secrets are out. The questions have been answered even if we may have correctly guessed some if not all of them. It is now a matter of figuring out who does what. What will Lee Lim do now? Where is Lee Gon? Is Luna a friend or a foe? What are Koo’s intentions? The show will have two episodes this week and then the finale next week, a very unusual structure for K-drama.

That’s it for now. Ruthie will rejoin us next week. Don’t forget that new episodes of “The King: Eternal Monarch” streams on Netflix every Friday and Saturday night. Come back and see us break down every episode. Till then, stay Super.

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