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The King: Eternal Monarch: Episode 11

Our leads continue their investigations in their respective worlds as the chaos intensifies. The stakes are raising, as is the body count, thanks to our resident schemer. This hour, our heroine finds herself in more danger than she’d bargained for, but luckily, she’s no damsel in distress.

 
EPISODE 11

Luna is pursued on her motorcycle – like any self-respecting badass – by the cop who’s been working her case. At an intersection, the Truck of Doom makes an appearance and plows into the detective’s car. Luna pauses to look behind her but then keeps going. And wham! We get a Sedan of Doom that rams into her bike. These destructive vehicles are working overtime.

Rim’s men take her to a warehouse where Rim tries to convince her they’re on the same side. He rips off her blindfold, making me wonder why they bothered with it in the first place. He goes on about how awful her life has been, and now she even needs an organ transplant. Luna correctly deduces that he’s a douche – even she doesn’t poke at people’s wounds.

She has no desire to be on his side. Rim tosses down Tae-eul’s ID and a family photo, commenting that her other self has a much better life. Luna remembers Seo-ryung mistaking her for someone else. Rim offers her Tae-eul’s life, and Luna cries as she stares at the family photo, hurt and angered to know Tae-eul got everything.

The nation mourns Prince Bu-yeong, and the news states that Gon will be leading the investigation into his death personally. At his funeral, Seo-ryung glances at Gon’s haggard face and smiles, alarming her assistant (and anyone with decency). When she’s alone, she admits to herself it’s kind of nice seeing Gon in despair. Well, that’s unsettling.

Her good mood is shattered when she sees the photos her ex sent her, confirming that it truly was Rim leading the attack that day. Seo-ryung wonders how Rim’s sudden appearance is connected with the strange newspapers she received.

In the republic, Jang Yeon-ji calls Rim’s lackey and divulges where the burner phone is. He promises to get her out. I’m thinking that doesn’t mean alive. Sure enough, the prison cameras all malfunction as he narrates that corpses are removed immediately.

We get some more … less than subtle PPL as Tae-eul watches Jangmi make an arrest from a cosmetics store across the street. Meanwhile, in the kingdom, Ok-nam lies recovering from her collapse. She thinks back to a recent conversation between her and Prince Bu-yeong where he’d laughed good-naturedly at her vitriol towards Seo-ryung. In the present, Ok-nam cries in grief.

The doctor reports on Ok-nam’s condition, and when he’s alone, Gon lets himself break down and cry it all out. In the republic, Tae-eul holds her lion keychain and thinks of Gon’s confession and kiss. She narrates that she could tell he was from another time. “Perhaps, that was the day I made up my mind about a lot of things.” Tae-eul wonders if she’s getting dumped and vows to let Gon have it when she sees him next.

Tae-eul meets Shin-jae at a café (not Na-ri’s) and gets a call that Yeon-ji committed suicide. Conveniently, there was a power outage, so there’s no security footage. Tae-eul and Shin-jae decide to focus on searching for Jung-hye who she explains is the alternate of Gon’s mother and is likely on Rim’s side.

They’re disappointed to find that the fees for Ji-hoon’s spot at the cinerarium have always been paid in cash, and they have no guardian on file. At least Shin-jae saw Jung-hye bring flowers to Ji-hoon that day, so he knows what she looks like. Apparently, no one thought to fill Shin-jae in on Rim, though, since he asks Tae-eul who he is. That seems like an important detail to leave out.

Yo-yo kid is still slinging that yo-yo in front of the bookshop. Luna hands over a key and gifts the car and everything inside to the kid in exchange for taking care of Luna (the cat). Before leaving, Luna asks why the yo-yo string is red to which the kid replies they strung it themselves.

Prince Bu-yeong’s son packs up his dad’s belongings while bitterly complaining to Gon that his father was used by the Royal Court. We flash back to a phone conversation during which Prince Bu-yeong refused to let his son visit him in Corea.

Currently, the son assumes he’s next in line and plans to move to Corea to take over his father’s position. Gon stops him. He isn’t allowed back here and won’t be part of the line of succession. Se-jin is next in line for the throne. The son is irate and aggressive, so Gon orders his guards to watch him and ensure he leaves after the memorial.

A man reports that Prince Bu-yeong’s autopsy determined strangulation as cause of death. He gives Gon the ring that was placed on Prince Bu-yeong’s finger. Gon knows Rim is the culprit and did it to provoke him. He tosses the ring in anger, and it hangs in midair. Time has paused again.

Right as Gon tells Ho-pil he’ll be out of reach for a while, Secretary Mo runs up to show him articles that have popped up about his mysterious disappearances. Gon immediately suspects Seo-ryung, and his suspicions are confirmed when they’re told she’s taking a sick day.

In the republic, Shin-jae catches Rim’s lackey tailing him. When the lackey slashes him on the arm with a broken bottle, Shin-jae tosses him his wallet and claims this is now a robbery with bodily injury. Anything Shin-jae does will now be excusable.

During their fight, the man pulls a knife, but he knows he isn’t allowed to kill Shin-jae. Shin-jae asks who ordered that, but the lackey won’t say. Instead, he pulls out a phone and promises it will never ring if Shin-jae arrests him. Shin-jae wonders who’s paying the phone bill. The lackey laughs and asserts that Shin-jae can’t catch him.

A car speeds through the alley, and Shin-jae has to leap aside to avoid being hit. The lackey gets into the same car that’s been tailing Shin-jae, and they drive off. Shin-jae sees the phone the lackey left lying in the road.

Tae-eul and Jangmi are startled when a bloodied and injured Shin-jae walks into the station. Jangmi vows to destroy whoever did this while Tae-eul chides Shin-jae for not going straight to the hospital. But he was more concerned with getting the burner phone in evidence so they can dust for prints.

As they walk out of the hospital, Shin-jae asks Tae-eul to keep this a secret, but she reminds him Jangmi already knows, so it’s too late. Shin-jae surmises Rim sent the phone to him, and Tae-eul suggests setting up a meeting when he calls.

Shin-jae wonders what they’re headed toward with all this. Tae-eul doesn’t have the answers but thinks it’ll become clearer if they keep going forward. She tells him it’s a lesson from Alice in Wonderland.

In the kingdom, Secretary Mo informs Gon they can’t get ahold of Seo-ryung as Gon peruses Prince Bu-yeon’gs security logs. He comments that Seo-ryung is giving him a taste of his own medicine, and he plans to wait and see what her goal is.

Going through the security logs, Gon discovers Prince Bu-yeong went to Eosu Bookshop. He jumps up with the epiphany that Prince Bu-yeong expected him to check the logs and takes his guards with him to question Lee Sang-do and Kim Ki-hwan.

Lee Sang-do is terrified but doesn’t seem to know anything. Kim Ki-hwan is as contemptuous as ever and goads Gon to kill him. Lee Sang-do begs to go back to his world – this isn’t the amazing place he was told it was. Gon reminds him he’s already dead there. He and Ki-hwan need to stay here and pay for causing chaos.

Ki-hwan doesn’t believe Gon can truly behead him like he threatened; it was outlawed years ago. Gon reminds him his word is law and gives the edict that he’s to be beheaded to his guards. He looks mighty serious this time.

A news report states that Kim Ki-hwan has been arrested and will be beheaded according to a special order given by Gon. The execution is to take place at midnight. It’s allowed by a special law that hasn’t been put into effect in over 60 years. So he’s actually going to pull a Queen of Hearts? How dramatic.

In the republic, Tae-eul reminisces about her conversation with Gon that day in the fields. He’d called “proposing” to her the best thing he’d done since coming to her world and said he was still waiting on her answer. But Tae-eul scoffs that he can’t call that a proposal when he commanded rather than asked her to be his queen.

Gon stops and asks seriously if she’ll be his queen. She doesn’t respond right away, and he pulls her close to ask her again. “If I say no, is today the last time we’ll see each other?” He guesses that’s a no, and Tae-eul confirms it’s a no for today.

Tae-eul wants to live in the moment and thinks it’s best for them not to plan their future. Gon remarks that this is typically when couples would pledge their undying love not their intent to live in the now. Tae-eul just hopes that today can be long. She grabs his hand, and his joke that they should be doing more than holding hands if they’re living in the now starts them play arguing.

In the present, Tae-eul smiles, but she does a double-take when Seo-ryung’s alternate walks past her. Tae-eul runs after her and stops her to check her ID. The woman is understandably suspicious when she clocks the blood on Tae-eul’s clothes (from Shin-jae).

Tae-eul flashes her police badge, and the woman immediately hands over her ID. Her attitude is much more pleasant than Seo-ryung’s. The woman’s name is Gu Eun-ah and after confirming her date of birth, Tae-eul sends her on her way. She follows her for a bit as Eun-ah shops, but Tae-eul leaves when her dad calls.

Luna preps for her role as Tae-eul and watches Tae-eul and her dad in the supermarket. Wait, is she already in the republic? In a hotel room, Luna takes off her wig and begins cutting her hair.

After working out in her dad’s studio, Tae-eul grabs her head. She drops to the ground and faints before she can make a phone call. Meanwhile, a more expensively dressed Eun-ah – looking much more like Seo-ryung – visits Na-ri’s café. Yeong walks in and is stunned when he sees her. It seems like Eun-ah might recognize him.

In the kingdom, Gon notes that the number of seconds each time pause lasts has been successively increasing. He does some math-y stuff and determines that, by the 62nd time pause, it will last an entire day. Gon concludes that there will come a day where both worlds will “stop.” That doesn’t sound good.

Gon is enraged to discover that Kyung-moo is alive and the owner of Eosu Bookshop. He leads a raid of the bookshop and gives his guards a kill order. Shots interrupt Kyung-moo’s meal, and he’s hit before he can escape. Others inside – Rim’s men, I’m assuming – attempt to flee but are gunned down by the snipers outside.

While Kyung-moo lies bleeding on the floor, Rim instructs Kyung-moo’s alternate in the republic to take care of the bookshop from now on. Kyung-moo is no longer useful.

Gon walks into the bookshop which is now littered with bodies. He has Ho-pil check Kyung-moo’s body for an old bullet wound in his shoulder (from the coup 25 years ago), but there’s nothing there. Wait, now I’m confused as to which one is Kyung-moo and which is the alternate.

Meanwhile, Tae-eul wakes up bound and gagged in a warehouse. She counts eight men and notices yo-yo kid staring through a slot in the door. Oh, so did they take her to the kingdom?

In the bookshop, Gon ruminates on all the swapping Rim is instigating and thinks of Tae-eul and Luna. He orders all his guards to be on standby and prepares to go to Tae-eul, seeming to have a bad feeling.

Tae-eul comes to again, and this time, yo-yo kid is taking the tape off her mouth and cryptically says, “I warn people of danger and defeat the enemy.” Okay then. When Tae-eul comments that the kid is in this world too, yo-yo kid clarifies that they’re the only one.

Yo-yo kid cuts Tae-eul’s ropes and gives her a knife. “I’m trying to restore balance.” Tae-eul asks who the kid is (finally, someone does), but the kid doesn’t get a chance to answer before they hear footsteps outside. Tae-eul shields yo-yo kid and tells them to run as she fights her way out.

She escapes in a car using a key she took off one of the men she felled. As she drives, she sees a sign for “Busan Palace” and realizes she’s in Corea. Her comment that yo-yo kid was “in this world too” suggested she already knew that, but okay.

Now in the kingdom, Rim’s lackey reports that everyone inside the bookshop was shot, surprising Rim. He thought Gon was the benevolent type. One of his men comes up to report they lost Tae-eul. Before he can finish, Rim whips a sword out of his umbrella – does it function as an umbrella, too? – and kills him on the spot.

Rim orders his men to catch Tae-eul dead or alive. He knows Gon will come for her, and he plans to use her in an exchange. Ah, so that’s how he intends to get the magic flute half.

A pursuer catches up to Tae-eul just as she runs out of gas. She shoots out the car’s tire and takes off running. Tae-eul makes it into the city and collapses, staring at the blood on her hands. She spots a payphone and a flyer advertising a number where you can wish the king a happy new year.

She calls and leaves a message for Gon, crying as she shakily explains that she’s in Corea being pursued, and she’s headed to the palace. Oh no, it’s another Truck of Doom! Thankfully, Tae-eul jumps out of the booth right before the Truck of Doom smashes into it. When the driver comes up to her, Tae-eul knocks him out and dazedly walks into the empty street.

Suddenly, she hears footfalls en masse. Tae-eul raises her gun and waits as dozens of men rush toward her. Everyone stops as police sirens sound and helicopters fly overhead. Tae-eul stands frozen as police, a SWAT team and Gon’s guards arrive. When she sees Gon riding toward her, Tae-eul begins to cry in relief.

Gon yells to protect Tae-eul, the future queen. The guards on horseback bowl through Rim’s men, knocking them down like bowling pins. Gon and the guards hop down from their horses and battle on the ground.

Gon slashes through the men, making his way to Tae-eul. She stumbles toward him as Gon and his guards slo-mo walk in formation (’cause he slay). Gon runs the rest of the way into her waiting arms.

 
COMMENTS

The intensity dialed up quite a bit this hour. Now that Rim is out in the open, things are moving quicker. When it comes to the main plot, we’ve predominantly seen Gon dealing with Rim and the fallout. But Tae-eul got some time in the spotlight and is now undeniably involved in the thick of it. I liked that she wasn’t portrayed as some superhero who laughs in the face of fear but as a real, terrified person who kept her wits and fought to survive. She may be a cop but that doesn’t mean she’s impervious to fear; I imagine she’s used to being the pursuer, not the pursued. I wasn’t entirely clear on how she got to the kingdom, though. When she first collapsed, I thought they were giving her the same fatal illness Luna has. It wasn’t until she woke in Corea that I guessed she’d been drugged or something. And what made Gon suspect that Rim was going after Tae-eul at that specific time? I feel like I missed whatever clued him in on the fact that Tae-eul was in danger at that moment.

Everything was pretty dire this episode, making me miss Eun-seob and Yeong’s mood-lightening antics. Yeong was on screen for a total of a few seconds, and Eun-seob was missing entirely. I’m assuming Eun-seob is okay since they haven’t shown him since the hospital, but it would’ve been nice to get even a brief update. Then again, I guess they were a little busy this episode with all the violence and destruction.

Three vehicles of doom in one episode – that’s got to be a record. I don’t think it was supposed to be funny, but I couldn’t help laughing when the Sedan of Doom struck Luna’s motorcycle. It almost felt satirical with how quickly it happened after the Truck of Doom did its job. On the topic of Luna, I’m a little confused. She’ll still be terminally ill once she swaps lives with Tae-eul, so what does Rim plan to do with her? It seems like a lot of extra work to swap them rather than just using Tae-eul and leaving Luna out of it. Even if Rim helps her get medical care, it’s unlikely she’ll be of much use to him while she’s seriously ill.

Yo-yo kid is still as nameless and mysterious as ever. I originally thought yo-yo kid was a boy, but since the kid playing the character is a girl, who knows? So I’ll stick with the moniker “yo-yo kid” and the neutral pronoun “they” until we’re told otherwise. All we know so far is that the kid doesn’t have an alternate, can travel without a flute and works to keep the balance. It seems like yo-yo kid is neutral and represents fate, especially with that scene that made a big deal of the red string on the yo-yo. It brought to mind the red thread of fate which traditionally refers to fated romantic partners, but maybe they’re just using the imagery here to invoke fate in general. Either way, yo-yo kid clearly has a big role to play.

Finally, I have to mention the PPL in this drama which I somehow haven’t talked about yet. I’ve rarely seen such constantly blatant PPL, but I kind of appreciate the honesty of it. I mean, we never even learned who Jangmi arrested while Tae-eul got a moisturizing spritz; it was that irrelevant. It’s like they decided it’s not worth the effort of trying to disguise it and instead just perfunctorily plop the PPL in. I can’t tell if it’s an intentional plan or laziness, but I’m amused either way.

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Tae-eul need a psychiatrist, really.

I can't stand her, a police officer with the mind of steel, suddenly go into crying every time she sees Gon. What is she crying for? It's simply hard to understand.

Second week after they changed one of the director, the relationship part seems improved, but the problems still remain: the relationship between Tae-eul and Gon runs too fast, and we simply can't get why their love so deep.

This is also show one thing: what's the difference when a good actress and a bad actor meet with a terrible screenwriter with a awfully messy story. I appreciate Kim Go-eun really dedicated into her role, and every emotion of hers is so detail and refined, she overkilled the character. This situation is not her fault, but the screenwriter never well defines her character, so when she is playing it very well, her Tae-eul has become some kind of schizophrenic. On the other hand, Lee-Min-ho is like "one face fits all" acting tone down the irregularity of his character, so he seems like he is the better actor, but in fact he simply using his inability to soften the seriousness of the disaster.

Kim Eun-seok another problem: her story is like bits and pieces building up into a mixture. The King is like nothing, yet it is also everything. The ending of this episode is so artificial, like "I want to have a cavalry charge", so I write it in there. It has no relationship to the story arc. The result is like those PPLs (fortunately there are a lot less these 2 episodes): what is the relationship between the Alley and the love relationship or the coup d'etat? The answer is a firm no.

And, finally, why there is no Woo Do-hwan? This is the guy I really missed.

(About the Yo-yo Kid, will talk about it with the big reveals in Ep.12)

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By the way, hats off to @quirkycase. A great drama critic shows her talent, not when she review a good show, but a really bad one. I really enjoy your review.

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I honestly find a lot of bias in this comment. Not my intention to be rude actually but probably it's a matter of perspective. There are viewers who enjoy the show, it somehow triggers the imagination that I don't mind all the obvious and upfront PPLs. I don't think it's a bad drama, I'd prefer this than the usual storylines.

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Yeah, there are viewer do enjoy the show. 5.2% in the first half, and you're probably one of them.

It is the lowest since the show first aired (and remember, the show is not aired in tvN or JTBC, but SBS, that means you don't need to subscribe to watch it, so it shouldn't be that low). I know, love is blind, @randomwriter10, but hate doesn't come from nowhere. If you read my past comments from past episodes, you know I actually love Mr. Sunshine, but I do hate this one a lot, and my comment under this show's past episodes' recap is pretty consistant.
And I also see a lot of my friends quit the show because of a lot of reasons: boring, the plot hard to understand, too many PPLs, acting is bad, etc., and I happen to agree with most of them. If you don't know what is healthy criticism but just blaze everyone doesn't like the show, I actually have nothing to say to you, because I also happen to hate people praising the show simply because they think Lee Min-ho is handsome, so he should know how to act, or they believe Kim Eun-seok's writing must be masterpiece.

If you like to disagree with me or persuade me that this show is good, tell me the reasons, criticize my reasoning, not just say "bias", or simply say you "enjoy the show", and don't think you can get away with it, because your is not reasoning, but accusation. These are the argument for Nazi thugs or Mao's Red Guard, not for clever people.

Since you love those PPLs so much, why don't you buy some BBQ chicken and an Alley bubble tea, an calm yourself down or clear your head a bit?

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hmm I think it was you who mentioned that the show is bad. That's where I saw how bias your comment was. Not arguing if you don't like it though nor try to persuade you to like it and I'm not saying I like it just because it's LMH. I agree it's quite hard to understand, story is too complex but we're literally writing down notes because my friends wanted to discuss it via zoom. Probably we appreciate interesting things as that and I don't think it's a problem.

I actually don't care if the ratings are high or low or because critics have negative or positive views about it. I read reviews for my personal reason, I watch what I want to watch. My comment was intended to let you know that I somehow felt you were trying to invalidate the viewers point of view because you don't like this one. At least that's how I felt. And if it wasn't the intention, I'm sorry I got carried away.

I would love to buy those BBQ chicken and bubble tea, but I'm not from SK. That's unfortunate.

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@randomwriter10 how do you define bias? As far as I can see, @imperialtitus has just stated their opinion about the show. And it is entirely possible that their opinion doesn't match yours or anyone else's. And they have all the right to state it. Nowhere in the original comment have they stated that they think low of people who watch it and like it or show any specific bias against the show, they're just stating their opinion solely based on their feelings that they don't like it. So this is just a matter of to each their own.

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@imperialtitus people dont like the show because the lead actor is handsome. It may not be the greatest in 2020 but don't downplay viewers love for it because of a handsome face

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5.2% of the first half is excluding all Wavve and Netflix audience. FYI, Wavve is a South Korean streaming website that combines kbs, sbs, and mbc (Doesn’t air cable shows). It has 15 million subscribers and The King has remained the number 1 most streamed show on there throughout its airing. On Netflix, the king is top 10 in many countries and for consecutive days now, it’s the top 8-10 most watched show on Netflix WORLDWIDE, beating shows like Money Heist on certain days. It’s also one the biggest korean drama hits on Netflix, if not the biggest. It ranks number 19 worldwide and beats all other korean dramas. One can argue it’s not doing well in South Korea but one cannot deny its international success. On Netflix, it’s currently way ahead of CLOY and Itaewon Class. I can’t compare it to CLOY as it aired last year to early this year when Netflix’s ranking system did not exist but we can look at Itaewon Class and see how well The King is doing in comparison. Itaewon Class had 1 month to air with Netflix’s ranking in place. The number of viewing within that month plus the number of viewing it gathered since its end is way less than the number of viewing for The King in the month of may alone! In short, the king is crushing it! I personally never judge a show based on the ratings but it looks like you’re using the 5% to justify why it sucks. Therefore, I can’t help but use its worldwide success to justify why it’s good. At least give credit where it’s due. South Korea is such a small number of viewers compared to the world. If The King can be up there as Netflix’s top 10 most viewed shows from all countries combined, you know they’re successful! Netflix has nearly 183 million subscribers. At the very least, 30 million people are watching The King on Netflix considering its ranking. Keep in mind, I said the very least. I mean, at the end of the day, however you feel about the drama is your opinion and however I feel about the drama is my opinion. If you find it boring then you do. But why continue to watch a boring show after 11 episodes? And again, give credit where it’s due. No need to justify your opinion with a number. Since you’ve learned there are over 30 million people watching this show now, did it change your perspective on the show? I’m just asking because it seems like you were using the 5% rating on sbs to conclude your opinion is a fact and that most people agree with you. In actuality, more people love the show than you think.

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Bias usually doesn’t mean having a positive or negative opinion about something. Usually bias means allowing considerations extraneous to the merits of a matter to be judged to affect how the matter is judged. So if I’m a drama critic responsible for reviewing a drama and I get paid by the drama writer, that would be an example of bias (or it would raise an apprehension of bias, anyway) because something irrelevant to the merits (I.e. the fact that the drama writer has paid the critic) is affecting the way a thing is being judged (whether or not the drama is any good).

Seems to me Emperor Titus is not biased in this sense. The comments above are all supported by good reasons based on the quality of the show. That seems perfectly appropriate to me.

Criticizing or praising a show doesn’t mean the opinions of people with contrary viewpoints are wrong or bad. It means there’s disagreement, and, in matters like these, it’s not really clear to me that there is an objective truth or fact of the matter. Everybody has their own tastes and preferences, and no one preference is better or worse than another necessarily.

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Thanks for reminder, @nomzy, I guess I shouldn't underestimate those who love the show simply because they love Lee Min-ho, or with any other reason. By the way, I heard news report that a Taiwanese show called The Victims' Game is even more popular then The King, worldwide on Netflix, and maybe I should watch this show as well.

I don't always criticize a show this vigorously. However, from its production value to its message (fate, for instant), The King is really one of the worst. I do studied theatre in university, although I am not a professional scriptwriter, I guess I am more immune to bad shows, but the horrible writing of this show is unheard of, even just counting Kim Eun-seok's dramas.

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@imperialtitus you are free to drop this and watch the Taiwanese show.
Honest question: if you dislike is soo much, why are you still watching. I mean you've prolly watched episode 12 by now

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Because, @nomzy, as I told you, I studied theatre in university, and I wrote plays and watched plays, and have a high tolerance on bad stories. I want to know why such famous writer (who also wrote Mr. Sunshine, one of my favorites K-drama) can ruin a story with great premises and promises like this.

In fact, I said at several occasions already, The King is so bad, it is very entertaining. Watching this drama may not be fun, but trashing this drama is.

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If trashing the drama is fun for you, you need to attend the trashing party instead.

Do you know the term "party pooper?"

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@anonymouse, seems that your heart is too weak that you omitted my first paragraph. Am I like "trashing" your beloved drama/actor so you can't take it, or you get some money from the production company so you have to praise the drama (you don't even have an official account, right)?

I am pretty sure I have every ounce of reason to "trash" this drama. Do you?

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The truth is this show is doing so well internationally. Check it’s Netflix ratings. It has been in the top 10 drama/movies on Netflix ever since it started airing in my country so I don’t understand where the backlash is. I already promised myself I won’t come back to drama beans to read anything because all I see are negative comments but then I thought some perspective would have changed after this episode but no some people’s minds are hell bent on discrediting this drama. It’s appalling to read some comments here. This is the one place you find negative comments on this drama. Go to Netflix sites and YouTube it’s faring well there so I sincerly don’t understand the backlash here

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Its Like the whole of dramabeans community hates LMH and KES. Poking at one thing or the other

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If you scroll down you will see that most beanies really enjoyed this episode, so I don't know what "backlash" or "discrediting" you are referring too.

Personally I found a lot to criticize before, but I'm honest enough to say I can see the drama has improved. Anyway, I'm not one to 100% love or hate a drama, and that's not what this site is about. It's about "deconstructing kdramas and kpop culture". We like to analyse stuff. We find strengths and weaknesses. And if something doesn't make sense or doesn't appeal to us, we say, respectfully I hope.

In fact, several of us are having fun even though the show is not perfect, and those beanies who don't like KES or LMH are not even watching it! Chill guys.

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@wishfultoki I’m not just referring to this episode but I’m speaking in general. There has been a lot of bad comments on this drama from this site most especially. Yes it’s true that it’s not doing so well in South Korea at the moment but then this sow is soaring high internationally. It’s ratings in Netflix has been amazing. To be in top 10 movie trends on Netflix in over 20 countries is amazing for a Korean drama at that. This show is smashing records. The King is killing it. Oh yes there are a lot of lapses here and there. I think people should cut the show some slack and enjoy the rest of the episodes left. For one LMH has grown as an actor. You can literally see and feel it in this drama that he has grown from what he used to be and the female lead has the best chemistry with him. I mean out of all the female leads that he has ever paired with in his dramas, this is the best chemistry I’ve seen on screen and off screen

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Do you know what is love, @2351lois and @nomzy? Do you know what is love, @randomwriter10?

Let me tell you a story, a story from Ancient China …

A powerful minister pulls a deer into the Royal Court, and claims it is a “horse”.
Some ministers jump out and argue with him, “No, it is not a horse, it is a deer!”
But also some other ministers jump out and claim otherwise, “Yes, it is a horse!”
The emperor sees all these. Maybe he likes his powerful minister, or he fears him. Later, he appointments him as the Prime Minister. Once he get this power, he eliminates all ministers who claim that is a deer.
The dynasty this emperor rules is overthrown several years later.

Kim Eun-seok is that powerful minister.

She has so many admirers who says to her, “I actually don't care if the ratings are high or low or because critics have negative or positive views about it. I read reviews for my personal reason, I watch what I want to watch (and by the way, @randomwriter10, I can buy BBQ chicken and bubble teas even though I am not from SK, I live in Toronto; and in case you don’t know, The Alley is a Taiwanese brand, not a South Korean).” Or someone says this, “Its Like the whole of dramabeans community hates LMH and KES. Poking at one thing or the other (@nomzy, I guess I have personally replied you why I will continue watching this show, and actually I believe Ep.12 is pretty good, because it make sense, finally).” Or, even someone says this, “Oh yes there are a lot of lapses here and there. I think people should cut the show some slack and enjoy the rest of the episodes left (Oh yes, @2351lois, seems that you don’t understand the difference between being critical and being hateful).

(To @2351lois, @nomzy, @randomwriter10, @noone, @kiara, @wishfultoki, @ndlessjoie, @silverdrafts. 1 of 4)

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Some who doesn’t have an official account I won’t tag them. But let me tell you all these, you are the real haters of Kim Eun-seok, because you praise her no matter what, so she stops improving.

After the so-called Mr. Sunshine Trilogy (go check it out, at one point Descendants of the Sun and Goblin has a temporary name called “Mr. Sunshine”, hence the name), Kim is so successful she can even get those funding and sponsorship singlehandedly, she just want to have The King to go out asap, so that she can get as much money as she want, and ignoring the fact that the story even has not been fully developed (Consider this: she wrote Goblin for 3 years, Mr. Sunshine for 10 years, and The King probably less then 2 years). The show has so many PPLs (especially Ep.8) this show is being dissed by local netizens as “PPL Monarch”, as her greed is painted on the wall (although she sell the international right to Netflix can get her half the funding for the show, just like Mr. Sunshine did, and in fact Mr. Sunshine is the first K-Drama aired simultaneously on tvN and Netflix). She dropped Lee Eung-bok, who by far the only PD can handle her epic stories, but uses those secondary directors to handle this drama. Her CGI is so bad, netizens point out the space between world is like works of newbies, the aircraft carriers is like going away from the battlefield (Ep.6). She even offended South Korean audience by putting a Japanese temple on the opening credit as Korean, and mixing Korean warships as Japanese, knowing full well Koreans really doesn’t like Japanese (She knows full well, because she wrote that massacre scene into the latter half of Mr. Sunshine’s Ep.22) … I can go on and on. But why do I write all these?

(To @2351lois, @nomzy, @randomwriter10, @noone, @kiara, @wishfultoki, @ndlessjoie, @silverdrafts. 2 of 4)

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Because I want her to improve.

Yes, my critics are harsh, and they probably won’t be listened because they probably won’t read this site, but people only improve if they are being criticized, and by giving the collective criticism to her, she will finally learn, and not as one of the hosts of YouTube Channel @DKDKTV said, “They give you shxt, so eat it.” I appreciate some of my fellow beanies do question my point of view, like @noone, @kiara, @wishfultoki, @ndlessjoie, @silverdrafts, and others (sorry I can’t list all of you), your words are appreciated.

I know, viewership is nothing, the other show I love currently airing, When My Love Bloom has only 3.8%, and it touches me every week. Talking about deep meaning? Arthdal Chronicles has only about 7.7% at its highest. I understand why their viewership is not high, and I appreciate they dare to do a show like this despite the low viewership. But The King? Her low viewership simply because the show offends their audience, simply giving them shxt and not respecting them, so this show deserves it—you can call that hatred, if you think it is.

(To @2351lois, @nomzy, @randomwriter10, @noone, @kiara, @wishfultoki, @ndlessjoie, @silverdrafts. 3 of 3, the end)

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Just a clarification: my comment is in 3 parts, not 4 as original planned, and Part 1&3 is under moderation (Seems I tagged too many people)

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I honestly don't understand why many people like to take criticisms of the show so personally, to the point that those criticisms ruin the watching experience for them?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just as people who love the drama have every right to gush about it, those who find it disappointing also have the right to vent their frustration. Sometimes I have a feeling that people seek validation for their personal taste than embrace difference of opinions. Not to say you have to agree with Emperor Titus, all you need to do is to scroll past their comment if you don't want to read (see? Your advice to them applies to you also: if you find their comment 'bad' or 'negative', simply don't read, just as you suggest they should drop the show or shut up just because they don't find the show satisfying). There are plenty of comments gushing and analysing about different elements of the show below. For goodness' sake this site is not overwhelmed with criticism. You want to see lots of criticism? Try backreading the recaps for Moon Lover: Scarlet Heart.

Others' opinions of the show should not influence how you personally feel about and connect with the drama. Your feeling is your own. It's not like they are devaluing *you* or *your worth* as a person for watching what they deem a bad drama, so why the strong reaction?

Having said that, I'm enjoying this drama. All I need to do is to look past the romance as it still seems forced to me. I can't connect with Gon and TaeEul's so-called 'great love'. The show has failed to convince me with their romance from the get go and everything else is just their force-feeding the romance to me.

Other than that? I see the fault in writing and directing too, but the show is still entertaining in its own way (WDH is gold!) and the story-telling is definitely getting better in these recent episodes I'm actually enjoying the ride <3.

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My own answer regarding such complaints won't probably satisfy people so here:
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ComplainingAboutPeopleNotLikingTheShow

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@amy1009, I think this is an apt response. The thing, to me, is that DB is not supposed to be a place where people most be monolithic in our opinions. I get it, people who like the show read these threads. But these posts/threads are not just for viewers who like the show; they're for all viewers. Telling people to GTFO, to stop "hating", to stop posting about the show if they have nothing good to say, to stop being biased, or to look at the ratings (the implication being that, if lots of other people like the show, then clearly there must be something wrong with viewers who don't like the show) is unwelcome and unkind in a place that's not designed to cater to all viewers.

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I. Have no. IDEA. What is GOING ON ANYMOOOOOORE!!!!

“ Meanwhile, a more expensively dressed Eun-ah – looking much more like Seo-ryung – visits Na-ri’s café. Yeong walks in and is stunned when he sees her. It seems like Eun-ah might recognize him.”

I knew Yeong was Yeong, but Eun-ah? No clue. And Luna’s skin is not something you can repair in order to swap her. And how did Gon know Tae Eul was missing. And why is she crying so much. And yes with pudding and tapioca and sometimes granola in it sounds revolting, just eat some yogurt. Why is this show so bleh?!

I think someone forgot that you can cast mediocre actors in dual roles, but you need to cast VERY GOOD actors if those dual roles are no longer distinguished by surroundings, costume, hair and accent. They have one actor who can currently pull that off.

I think Lee Min Ho is fine in this show, it’s a role practically written to his strengths. Kim Go Eun is at her strongest when she’s not anywhere near romance. Melo, sure - but romance, no, in my opinion.

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@Miranda Let's talk about that Eun-ah/Seo-ryung issue in next episode recap, that involve spoiler.

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It’s from the recap, no spoilers - I’m just talking about the moment in the cafe, when I truly had no idea which one she was.

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From the moment the student "Eun-ah" bought the fancy high heels, I have doubts. The recapper said she thought that Eun-ah was more pleasant than Seo-ryung, but I thought she was pretty snotty. I think it was her the whole time!

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I said this, @Miranda, partly because Eun-ah/Seo-ryung plot doesn't end in this episode, but the next one (to be more specific, the end of Ep.12; that spoiled keyword: Scar), so I think it is more appropriate to talk about it in that recap.

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I didn't mention scars?

Not to nitpick, I'm just not sure how I'm spoiling anything here.

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I enjoyed this episode more than the prior episodes because Tae Eul seemed more like the tough police officer from the beginning episodes. I agree that we could always use more Woo Do Hwan.

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Me too, @ndlessjoie, Tae-eul's badass but retains her vulnerabilities here, making it more real. Love it!

I was also disappointed by the lack of WDH in Episode 11, but that few seconds of Yeong encountering the PM/her doppelgänger Eun-ah is weirdly placed. It's like they realized that they needed to fill the WDH quota somewhere in the episode, so they decided to sneak him in. It won't make lots of differences if they cut it and keep the whole scene in Episode 12, IMO.

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Yeong-ah is the best combat fighter in both universe. I think he is being reserved for Rim.
Lee Gon needed to wield the 4 tiger sword this time to save his future queen.
Kind of feel like the king's sword in LotR but without the Army of the dead aka the Oathbreakers in tow.

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Agree with you, Yeong is clearly reserved for the final battle. (More to discuss about this on the 12th Ep recap).

You had me at the mention of LotR. Or, with Yeong (and Eun-seob/Shin-jae, maybe???) beside Gon, it's like having Legolas' bow and Gimli's ax, eh? Geez I miss their banter.

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@silverdrafts
It's always a good thing when a show reminds me of LotR.

A death count between the 2 Unbreakable swords or Shin-jae would be fun.

Can they hear our plea and save our Unbreakable swords? The portal should not be closed for a sin that was committed by someone else other than the king.

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@kiara I legit will insert TK: EM into my "Most Fave KDrama Evaaaa" List if they do that! I can see Yeong and Shin-jae with similar competitiveness, yes, yesss

"Swords, really?" Shin-jae scoffs as he empties his bullets on the bad guys.

Cue Yeong slashes the enemies' lackeys with efficiency and maintaining elegance and coolness as he does so. "Swords can't ever run out of bullets. Guns are too limiting!"

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Don't want to ruin your imagination, @kiara, the fighting scene in the end make me think more of Infernal Affairs or triad movies in the heyday of Hongkong movie industry, there's always a fight with steel pipes and kitchen knives among the gangsters. They rarely use gun at that time ...

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@imperialtitus
You are not ruining anything. Even better, "Internal Affairs" was a great movie.
I swear I was born in the wrong era.
I loved old movies, old dramas, sageuks.
I even prefer the old veteran actors lol.

Well, we are in the rabbit hole. Anything goes and it doesn't have to make sense either.

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@ndlessjoie, @silverdrafts and @kiara, generally these two weeks' episodes are more enjoyable somewhat, and I enjoy the most is the next episode (I guess I will talk about it when the recap is up). Probably the change of director is working.

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Yes, I'm trying very hard to keep myself from spoiling it. I think I've messed up a little already.

Behead me!
Oh wait, you are not the king's guard lol.

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Let's get beheaded together.

Guess it will be the most romantic declaration from now on.

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@kiara @imperialtitus tsk, you guys...

In that case, the waiting line is gonna be longer than that infamous boba tea queue line in Singapore.

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Yeah, shall wait until the 12th ep recap is up, it's kinda hard not to spoil the 12th when talking about the 11th.

LoL, @kiara. Don't you mean that certain "beheading" by Gon? *wink wink

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I'm not a traitor @silverdrafts so it has to be the other 😉.

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@silverdrafts, @kiara Shhh! None shall pass about the "beheading" in Episode 12! At least for now 😂

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@bluecouchpotato
I've reserved the king's guard as my executioner.
That I can do from episode 11.

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And I'm not talking about the guard with no hair from the Northern region although his NK accent is kind of cool.
I'm talking about the knighted Unbreakable Sword from 1994.

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@kiara Well, there's also that little bit of "reveal" involving the Captain of the Royal Guards 😉. As if it isn't enough that I'm already waxing lyrical about him in every episode.

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@bluecouchpotato all of us, and 99.999% of TK:EM viewers, I bet. Just leaving that 0.001% for margin of errors

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@ndlessjoie @imperialtitus @kiara. I liked these week's episode, it somewhat picked up the speed, but I'm still struggling with the story as it's 12 episodes down and we see yet to open the time travel aka universe door and still more questions are being thrown at us. But I liked the dark side of both Gon and Taehul as they are not just becoming the noble idiots (not my status) but giving back as hard as they are getting!
I liked the way Taehul escaped and the way dramatically Gon came to her rescue.
As it's mentioned in the show, we are skipping a lot many things here!!

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I need an edit button*sigh*
Yes, they need more time and you know we all struggle but sometimes with a little patience and maybe a little research, the fog clears up.

I love our couple. They are consistent no matter which world they are in.

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I second you, @kiara, with that edit button. Sometimes we just need to adjust some grammatical error and silly things like that.

It is true, @bunnybean, that if we just watch these 2 weeks episodes, it will be pretty good (and in fact Ep.12 is the best of them all. Someone please behead me ...); but the first 8 is so bad, if you put them all into the picture, the whole show is very awkward. I don't agree as someone said above that Kim Go-eun is bad in romance (I stress that she is in fact a very good actress), but since the world is so huge, why don't Kim Eun-seok omit the romance once and for all, and concentrate on world building?

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@imperialtitus

I'm just going to enjoy her work quietly like I always have.

I don't mind sensible criticism because as talented as she is she still have room to grow.

She has done romance perfectly well in Cheese and the Trap and when it comes to chemistry "Sunset in my Hometown" with this gem of an actor Park Jung-min was one of my favorite. It's also directed by the acclaimed director Lee Joon-ik @flyingcolours
You see, I love when she is in Chungmuro because she gets the respect that she deserves.
I can't wait for her to go back to her roots in Hero.
Same for Lee Min-ho. I know he is hot stuff but I want to see him act more and the first time that I took him seriously was in Gangnam Blue. It was all about the acting, his pretty face wasn't the focus of the film.
I hope he'd do more films in the future. Chungmuro is a great place for growth with some of the best directors in the industry.

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@imperialtitus, @kiara Uff! Ditto on the edit button. I mean sometimes you miss a single word and the whole meaning of your post changes. I've had to grit my teeth on my own grammatical errors!

I've binge-watched Episodes 1 to 12 and I've actually enjoyed it more when I skipped through some of the befuddling parts of the romance, the dragged-on scenes and the more outrageous PPLs. In my head, I've probably edited the whole thing down to just 8 episodes 😜.

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I have been there so many times about Edit button. There is a website which posts some hilarious chats based on the auto correct function. https://www.autocorrectfail.org/

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Our dear Yeong is definitely reserved for that final battle. If he was in this encounter, he will probably do something incredibly cool as sharp-shooting on horseback and knocking down a lamp post or two to corral the goons. We'll miss the opportunity for a sageuk-style battle. 😉 I actually had this weird thought that they gave WDH the episode off as he is set to dominate Episode 12 again 🤭

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Can't wait to see Yeoung in action!! 😍😍

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Emperor Titus this might shock you but in this materialistic world we are inundated with product placement in our daily lives. Look around you, arent images of what everybody wants to sell you present everywhere? Why wouldn't it be in the imagery of contemporary fairy tales. I think is kinda a hoot. I could go into a little rant about the iconography and relevance of Andy Worhal's Campbell's Tomato Soup painting but I think I've said enough on that topic. Tae-eul doesn't need a psychologist but she might have an interesting afternoon drinking schnapps and beer with Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.

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Much of the PPL has been over the top without being amusing. It's only just begun to be mildly amusing or in some cases, well integrated. It's also possible I'm just becoming immune.

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Well integrated and well placed yeah!! I'm finding it amusing sometimes and just ignoring sometimes!!

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Ya gotta tune it out or it will drive you crazy. It is so funny when the King and PM Koo have the same space helmet skin care gizzmo.

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I do enjoy it when Rose Unicorn does it.
Jangmi makes me laugh every time.

"Lieutenant Jeong "bravely" spray facial mist with her eyes open"

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There's also the power of the forward button to neutralise those PPLs as one wishes.

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There ya go. We have the technology to save ourselves.

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I’ll take PPLs vs the 12 minutes of commercials on US mainstream TV!

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Amen

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It's true. but I guess it hit my nerve when I see a Netflix PPL on a Netflix show in Ep.2

(I am not in South Korea, so I'm not watching it on SBS)

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See, I thought that was funny, It was like another world inside of a world. A visual pun.

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Yeah, it meant to be funny, @iamastonished.

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To each his own. When you do see something let me know. I like to laugh😄 Deal?

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Deal!

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Hey,

There is something I sincerely wonder and dying to ask. I'd be delighted if you answer. I'm a guy at the beginning of 40s from other side of the world. Not I wached many but this is the first K-Drama series I follow week by week. Even though my girlfriend didn't give a chance to this TV series (we never watch TV on our house, and she finds dramas silly), a couple of buddies around 30s actually began watching this one mostly because of fantasy elements. And not to mention this is their first korean entertainment product maybe except Parasite. Like me, they never listen K-Pop, never seen a Korean show, etc.

Last months, I had free time which I never had since university twenty years ago because of covid and even began reading K-drama forums. I see hate match along those boards ever since I visited first time. What I really wonder is; Is it normal in Korea to be so competitive in these little things like ratings of a tens of millions of dollar tv series' popularity? Please don't misunderstand me. I am not specificly pointing at you. Maybe you are not even Asian, but I believe you understand it.

I of course saw similar things on star wars fans and such but they come and go in a couple of weeks time. People get bored, trolling ends, etcs. Here, what's happening is much like a competion and bitterness between soccer fans.

My theory is Korean people or Eastern Asians are more into idolized entertainers, i.e. like actors and actresses on this show. Similar to fans of teams and they like poking each others' favourite actor/actress on successes and failures. Am I onto something?

I am not a scholar but one of my buddies watching this series is. This is something we discussed but couldn't figure out.

Thank you,

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Not East Asian. Not a scholar either. Or atleast this is not the type of things I study in graduate school.

My experience and knowledge of Korean entertainment is very limited, in comparison to most people who are here. But here are some of my observations:

1. Celebrity culture in Korea is really strong. And I think this is true to countries where entertainment serves as one of their biggest industries. Korean netizens can be extremely vicious both because of this particular interest and obsession with celebrities and what I mentioned in number 2.

2. Korea is a very critical and competitive society. This is true in almost every aspect of their lives, not just in entertainment. They demand a lot from themselves (education and physical good looks are extremely important to them, as both are seen as factors to success) and definitely from their public figures, particularly their politicians and celebrities.

3. TV Dramas are more susceptible to fan service because it relies on ratings and product placements to generate income. That's why, those actors who flourish and do well in Chungmuro (in films which is considered to be more about the craft of acting and filmmaking) don't necessarily make it big on TV. And vice versa. My impression is, those who do well in commercials (CFs) do pretty well on TV. However, there are very few who were able to build strong careers in both mediums. One good example is Gong Yoo (Train to Busan, Goblin)

4. Strong adherence to cultural values. Though Korea is a highly industrialized country, their societal values (or at least those that are accepted openly) are still predominantly conservative. Add that to their competitive and hyper critical nature, they tend to police every single thing and decision that their celebrities do.

So yes, ratings matter. Their actors matter.

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I think #4 is at the root of all the others in the list. 21st tech country, but in many ways still living in some weird combo of the 18th century and the post- Korean War dictatorship rules and laws. (For example, Google maps is banned there because it shows the location of military bases. Like nobody can figure out where they are without Google...).

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An interesting phenomenon however that I'm noticing is how this level of obsession has somehow permeated into the celebrity culture of countries where Korean entertainment is widely consumed. I wouldn't say that celebrity obsession didn't exist before in Southeast Asia (one of the biggest consumers of the Hallyu wave and KPop outside of China and Japan). Maybe it is social media, and not exactly a by-product of Korea's "soft power" in the region. Or can be both. I don't know.

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I'm southeast Asian who has been watching Kdramas for years, but not really a "fan" of any actor, so here's my take. Kdramas are a multi-billion dollar industry, and yes, extremely competitive. Agencies invest heavily on the image development and promotion of their actors and idols and even encourage the kind of cringe-worthy fan hysteria. Fans of some actors go OTT in defending their idols that they would troll sites and bash people who say a smidgen of criticism against their idol or their projects. Some fans are also unable to differentiate between criticism of a character and criticism of an actor.

Unlike, let's say football fans who watch for a more specific reason (the game, the athletes), Kdrama viewers are much more diverse and far-reaching. Some are in it for the entertainment value, the story, the actors, the production value, and the eye candy. Personally, I watch Kdramas for the entertaining but relatively short stories. Huge bonus points if I run into a cast member who is both good-looking and an actually good actor.

Stories in Kdrama also resonate with audiences, whether its romance, action, bromance, family and friendship. It's this emotional investment that lingers long after the series has ended, and why some fans still go berserk.

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You are not wrong. The Netizens are so full of criticism that it is worrying

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I don’t think you’ve experienced love in such a way that it can break you completely no matter how strong you are. How you yearn for someone but you know that you don’t get to see that Orrin all the time. To add to the fact that your words are not the same and there’s every possibility that the door to your words can close at any time and that would be it. If you’ve experienced something like this then you can understand why JTE breaks down every time she sees Lee Gon

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I know that LMH may be lack in some ways but I see that he is getting better at his character in The King. Both actors are great, they both can potray their character excellently. It’s probably the chemistry that we are still looking for to make them look good together

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Tae eul doesn't need a psychiatrist. As someone in the field but doesn't practice it right now, crying is a very normal reaction to a life threatening event. No matter how bad ass you are. And actually, the more hard shelled you seem, the more likely you are to a string release of emotions right after. Especially in front of the man you love.

As for the this particular love, it's believable now, but its journey to the now was presented so poorly to the viewers that it makes it so hard for us to understand the depth of it. Like, I get Gon's love for her but Tae-eul's was kinda... Sudden. Like I knlw Tae-eul was attracted to him from the get go, that one was obvious, but the moment for me that made me huh? Was when she immediately went and hugged him after not seeing him for a long time after she went back to the Republic. Yeah she missed him but we didn't even see how her emotions progressed for it to be that much. I do get that there is so much time in between the scenes we see that for us it moves fast but for them, it doesn't. But! The editing is so awful that we don't feel that sense of time with them.

Other than that, I get why she cries when she sees him. Even in the flower scene. She obviously hasn't seen him in a long time and she knows the danger he is in, and when she sees him she knows it's not him from now, hence her stepping back, but she realized it's him from a time that theyve already said goodbye. Hence the crying. But the editing! Again, I blame it for people not getting it and the feelings that brought the characters to that emotional state.

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I guess my initial comment is a bit overkilled, @ianluis, and as I mentioned in another comment underneath, I would say it is a kind of a "Crying Wolf" effect: when you see the shepherd boy crying wolf for so many time but no wolf has come, villagers will ignore his crying even at this one time wolfs do come. I have to stress that Kim Go-eun is a really good actress, and her reaction in the end of this episode is appropriate; however, she cried so many times before Gon before, to be honest, I felt puzzled, even annoyed first time when she was crying on that intersection ...

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I agree with you on the implication of FL char. did 360 degree change. It seems that she goes from really tough with somewhat of a disdain toward ML to crying mess.

On one hand, LMH's acting is terrible. He cannot do crying scenes, that signature kneel crying. I feel like he should go and train his acting.

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You hit the point, @lunalove. Yes, the love relationship between Tae-eul and Gon is not working due to 2 reasons: Lee Min-ho's poker-face acting (honestly, I feel nothing when he cries in that kitchen this episode, as well that scene with Tae-eul in Ep.12, no matter how hard he tries), and screenwriter writing in so many illogical emotion changes of the character Tae-eul. Hats off to Kim Go-eun, she's tried so hard ...

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My question is what is a long time? The drama is focused on time yet when it is convenient for them they make it a long time for lovers such that they cry on being separated for a week or two.

On the other, the time for investigation and other practical matters seems to be short.

Example: say LG visited Korea for the first time after 9-09-2019. He may have stayed for 2 or 3 weeks. He definitely leaves in or before mid October.
JTE loses her id in October (after 15th before 30th).
After that, She promises her boss a closure on the case in two weeks but she gets her id on 11/11 yet the promised case is not closed!!

She cries and keeps saying it has been a long time since they have met episode 9 and 10 but how long?

According to the timeline, she met him September, 2019. He leaves in late sept or early oct. She meets him on 11/11. She travels with him to his place.

She returns after a few days. Then he visits her in Dec. he stays for at least 7-9 days. He leaves on a Thursday.

Then the bamboo forest scene, they meet in Jan before 25Jan2020 (new year). Then end of episode 10, she sees him again with the flowers for a few minutes. The kidnapping thing would make her cry and go like I missed u but my guess is this happened at the end of the doctor uncle’s mourning period, so effectively they meet again in Feb 2020.
One meeting every month for a short romance is not that bad!!

Episode 1 interrogation room is supposed to be early (first quarter) of 2020, no??

This is a genuine question that I have and not necessarily a comment :)

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Honestly, @noone, the date is so confusing I actually stopped following. One of those pretty sure is November 11, in which Tae-eul stayed in the Empire for one day, not several days (She actually told that to Shin-jae).

Then about the New Year: The Bamboo Scene, I am pretty sure it is before New Year's Eve, but right after that (when Secretary Mo begging Couirt Lady Noh), he appears and said it was December 23 (or in Korean: 12월23일. I've just learn Korean system on the date last week ...). So what New Year is that, the New Year in the Western Calendar, or the New Year Korean commonly celebrating (which is the Lunar New Year)? It is because I remember they count date by Western Calendar ...

We didn't consider time travel yet, in the flower scene in the end of Ep.10, Lee Gon is not from his current time, but sometime far beyond the present. The interrogation room would have been happened in the end of all events, that's for sure, somewhere in the early 2020 is the most secure guess, since most of the time K-drama never go beyond the date it airs, except special case (example: the happy ending of Crash Landing on You).

So, to determine Empire of Corea (This is another confusion this drama gave us, but I don't talk more, since I've mentioned it before) using which calendar will let us know how long the time interval is. But as I said, I think it is hard to determine, because the logic of this drama is so irregular ...

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Since you have kindly given me a chance so I will write this :D

- I know everyone liked this and the previous week’s episodes (somewhat)... I am on the fence though—

I liked the dramatic moments in silos because I like cute stuff but somehow when I see the series in its entirety... things seem to be off.

We spent too much time in building up the chess board but now we just indulge in some thrills through cavalry and then nothing on political or economic front? Japan-Korea sea battle...the CEO and his son... PM’s husband and the Doctor Prince’s son! None of the characters were properly developed.. real ones or their doppelgängers.

Can you wrap that up with a battle between uncle and nephew, LG and gates, LG and his romance, LG and time travel, LG and throne politics? I don’t think so. My expectations will not be met when it comes to a proper witty battle. I am guessing we will have more showdowns with the sword.

Street fighting with swords in the world of guns? The bad guys chase JTE but they aren’t able to get backup and just stick to one car racing behind her on a highway? No usage of guns by them? I loved her being strong but I also felt that fate intervening+bad guys not really trying hard. They think of hitting her with a truck but not shooting her? It wasn’t a clever escape... LR did not even keep her carefully guarded as one would expect a villain to do an important bargaining chip! Did he really need her for bargaining? Could he not try something more devious?

I don’t know... with all the references I guess i was expecting more mind games. Now I also think aren’t there too many references such that the creator can choose the easy way out at any point and everyone will like — “wow”

However the uncle as the villain is also weird... I thought he was going to be evil and a real threat... but now... He is not worthy of being considered Voldemort!

Instead of a proper investigation of getting everyone in palace investigated... we just indulge in mindless violence?

A sword fight is dramatic but does it fit?

Suddenly now the details don’t matter. Am confused as to whether the focus is romance or suspense!

Fate stepped in and instead of characters struggling to fight they now have extraordinary help!

I have decided no more commenting on this, will enjoy myself with wild theories and curse the screen when the drama continues to frustrate me as what they did is definitely not a beautiful solution to sorting out the uncle case.

I read my own post and realized that maybe the timeline is jumpy to stick to the concept of time travel but this is not the way to do it! I can’t even call it experimental because Now the need to get ratings up by brawn power and cavalry, cute romantic kiss and touch is being used aplenty.

I would have loved to see rather than hear all the talking about love and time travel.

(End of rant and repetitive points which are not articulated properly)

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@noone, I understand your frustration. If I want to, I can go on just like you did.

The once mighty screenwriter Kim Eun-seok now become more powerful and mighty, she decides now only offer you with 2 kinds of food: curry tastes like shit, and shit tastes like curry. Audiences are jumping up and down in joy already when we found out she did offer curry.

I don't hate a screenwriter with lots of money to spend to develop a drama, but I hate a screenwriter spending lots of money writing a drama not respecting audience intelligence and yawn for being touched, but trashing them with bits and pieces of garbage.

The material in The Kingfit for a 60+ episode masterpiece, but what she has done is just a 16-episode draft of that "masterpiece", and some idiots can still praise it.

Yes, I am one of those who think these two weeks episodes are better somewhat, but honestly, for rebuilding her "master of romance" brand, Kim Eun-seok has come way too little, to late.

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You said it.
This script needed more time and space to play out in the hands of a director who was good at suspense and romance.
Right now, due to the 16 episode constraint they will need to choose what they concentrate on. And it seems they will pick on romance :)

What is not to like about episode 11? On its own it is nice— dramatic and exactly what sells. Just that story wise am not sure :)

We at last have nice romantic rescue after a brave woman shows her capabilities.

Weirdos like me are just greedy and want it to be perfect as it is difficult to find a good story and cute actors in one space :D

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Just one more thing.

Do you guess, @noone, what I was thinking when I was watching that cavalry charge/street fight in the end of this episode? I am thinking about those triad movies from the heyday of Hongkong movie industry. These movies always feature one or two street fighting among gangsters, using mostly steel pipes and kitchen knives as their weapons. Honestly, that sword is nothing more different from those kitchen knives. Sorry, Lord of the Rings was pretty far from my mind when I was watching these ...

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@imperialtitus :)

I should watch some Hong Kong drama :) I am pretty new to the world of East Asian drama.

I haven’t seen or read Lord of the Rings and I think it has to do with the fact that so many people love it that I like resisting it. :D

I was thinking and I realized that episode 11 and 12 are about using classic drama moves that always work to get the audience worked up. You know what I mean? The swords fight, man coming to rescue, even the call from the booth that JTE makes. They are triggers. If done well they never fail. Gun warfare is far more gritty and unless done on the borders does not elicit the same response. There is too much scope of things going wrong with guns :D

Anyway, in silos the sequences are fun at the full story level, I feel like asking then what were the first 9 episodes about if the answer to everything is thoughtless shooting. The uncle seems to still be ahead of his nephew but the uncle is still not acting up even though we are at episode 11. I just wonder if we will have enough time for him to act up and then a proper fight back and we’ll timed resolution — and I know that the answer is no so I should just shut up watch what is being shown and not expect :D
I just can’t resist reading and commenting on forums :D

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The I am a Kieślowski and Polanski and Kurusuwa and Miyazaki fan. So you can see why with the style and liberal referencing I was hoping for a rabbit of their style to be pulled out from the drama. The colour pallete and use of natural elements is inspired from Kurusua, Miyazaki’s nonsensical stories are all about references and allegories, Kieślowski played with the Ten Commandments and concept of alternate timelines, Polanski knows people’s minds and he does villainous acts beautifully.

Yup, too many expectations :D

@imperialtitus so the drama due to whatever reasons becomes about me :)

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Since you are serious about Hongkong movie, @noone, I introduce you to a name: Director Johnnie To. His Election series (consists of 2 movies) mixing Hongkong gangsters movies with political commentating is a masterpiece. On the other hand, Infernal Affairs is good, too (but the Part 1 only, Part 2 and 3 is not as good).

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she is trembling in fear. i agree with quirkycase she is a terrified person who kept her wits and fought to survive.
the other scene is she thought the gate is close for good - explain it has been a while. and never she imagine she be able to meet him in that forest. and the other one ahh why i bother to explain to close minded people. u already have yours.. just enjoy ur gloomy life.

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be careful when using an actual personality disorder when describing a person. it’s not at all helpful.

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Wow wow, you seems to read my mind @Emperor Titus (I have no idea how to tag people here lol). I'm not the biggest LMH fan (he seems not to evolve much as an actor but I think there is a good improvement here in TKEM). However, I do feel like he plays the role as a monarch well here. He seems to exude the royal aura well) but I am a big fan of KES and Mr. Sunshine and DOTS (not so much for Goblin because I feel the pace of the drama is dragged at certain part. The only reason I finished it was because of Gong Yoo, if it was another actor, I would've probably abandoned it halfway), so I feel surprised by the inconsistencies and gaping plot hole here and there in TKEM. I also feel like the characters are not well-developed. I guess when you decide to go with such a complex concept as alternate world and introducing so many variables (in this case, the characters for both worlds), there's a lot of to consider of and it can be tricky to do justice to both worlds. But now, knowing that she didn't spend much time developing the story and might even rushed to complete it, I can understand why TKEM is what it is. It's like it was written by a different person. The rest of my commentary complement what @Emperor Titus wrote.

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Whao whao whao I'm late to the party but that was the best episode so far in this show. The shots the action at the end, The build up of emotion. Watch a show as a show not ina "META" way so you can just ooo that not good acting blah blah. Have a nice day.

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maybe time stop because flute is cut in half?
how they will joint the cut flute?

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I think so because the flute has been used before to protect Corea from invasions, plagues etc.
The flute has been around for centuries so previous kings beside Lee Gon's father may have figured out how to cross over from one universe to another.
Maybe crossing with the whole flute doesn't stop time. Having two with different intentions causes chaos.

Probably in the hand of the rightful keeper who is the king himself, is when the flute will return to it's original form.

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I also think that the time started to stop when the two halves of the flute has been used. It opened a different portal, and as you said, causing chaos

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It does beg the question that in the overall concept of balance, how does a wild card like the Manpasikjeok come into play? The Kingdom of Corea rose as a superpower while its alternate was colonised. The coin flip in the intro pretty much tells us that the two worlds are part of the same coin.

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I tried to explain it earlier but I don't know if it makes any sense.

I think we have two but no one in Korea (the colonized reality) believes that the Manpasikjeok has any magical power.
So it's just a bamboo flute collecting dust at the museum.

In Corea (the fantasy realm) it is treated as a magical object with power. It works for the believers unlike Rim and Lee Gon's father.

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I dunno it sounds pretty amazing to me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAPkh4JHOww
As Tae-eul says the liberal arts students imagine and the scientists prove that it is real. "There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy [science]" Shakespeare. from Hamlet

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This show is good at giving hints and having us chase it to the rabbit hole where our imagination runs wild.

This was mentioned briefly between Tae-eul and Shin-jae's conversation in this episode.
This is basically where I'm at with this show.

“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”

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What an episode! Thanks for the recap @quirkycase! Let the theorizing begin...

First though, hats off to Kim Go-eun. She killed it. I just wish she hadn't cried so much in the previous episode, because it would have made the ending of Episode 11 even more powerful.

I agree that she was no "damsel in distress" here. She did absolutely everything in her power to survive. She was kidnapped, taken to a parallel world, knifed and shot her way out a warehouse, stole a car, was chased by Uncle's minions, ran out of gas, walked all the way to Busan, managed to survive Truck of Doom and its driver (both clearly working for Evil Uncle), and made a last stand against an army of evil minions with shaking hand. A true damsel in distress would have sat in the warehouse and waited for Gon to save her. But she didn't. Even calling for help was her doing.

So the crying made sense to me. After such an ordeal, it is normal to break down. She had to be brave and strong on her own, but once she saw Gon she was overcome by the fear, exhaustion, and relief. When she stumbled towards Gon and he ran to her, forgetting to look kingly, I may have held my breath. I thought the episode would end before they hugged, or that another Truck of Doom would come crashing in. @sincerelytod, please take a break next episode and tell your doppelganger and little bro Car of Doom to relax too.

So yeah, bravo Kim Go-eun. And I wonder who drugged her non-PPL water in the taekwondo studio. Since Prime Minister appeared at the cafe next door, could it have been her? And yes, I'm 99.99% sure that was the Prime Minister because she said the bubble tea description sounded like a foreign language.

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I guess I have a different opinion about Tae-eul's crying in the end, @wishfultoki. Not meant to disagree or being disrespect with you, but I guess Tae-eul is crying too much lately.

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It's ok to disagree on this one. I did find her crying excessive in episodes 9-10, and what made it worse is that I had no idea why she was crying. I still don't like the fact that she cries every time she sees Gon lately, but it made sense to me in this life-or-death situation.

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Yeah, that's why I was frustrated when she was crying again this episode. But I guess you are right, she is not superhero, afterall.

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Why can't a girl cry while fighting for her life or when she is sad, happy, afraid, desperate etc?
My brother in law is a cop and while he keeps it together at work he cries when his kids leaves for college, his wife had their babies etc.
Some are more sensitive than others and there is nothing wrong with it.

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Don't feel offended, @kiara. What I am trying to talk about is that "Crying Wolf" effect. When the shepherd boy cries wolf for so many time for a false reason, the villagers will stop paying attention even he cries for real for one time. I am not gonna lie. I feel puzzled the first time when I hear her crying this time because I hear her crying so many time for no reason last 2 episodes.

Really sorry if I offended you, @kiara.

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@imperialtitus
No offense taken. Sorry if I came off that way.

I guess I'm a bit too sympathetic with her situation, not because I ever dated a guy from Mars but it doesn't bother me.

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On the other hand, her excessive crying in Ep.9-10 did result into us being numb when she is crying afterwards. I remember watching a movie calling The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson; the blood spilling is so excessive in the movie, when Jesus came to the courtyard and being beaten so violently, I lost feeling to sympathy to the character entirely. I guess what's happening in the end of this episode are out of the same effect. Same as those kisses.

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If only Tae-Eul doesnt cry everytime she sees Gon these last few episodes, her tears at the end of this episode would be so much more powerful. There's so many teary reunions with no clear sense on how long the time has lapsed making it difficult to really feel the direness of the situation.

KGE can cry like nobody business tho. I genuinely think all the actors have done good job given what they've been given.

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You get my point.

I studied theatre in the university. I saw a play about playwright himself and his love-hate relationship with his mother*. Most of the time the character (representing playwright himself) talk about/to his mom, interacting with her, etc., he sit in a chair in the middle of a dark stage--until the very end, when his mom is about to leave (representing she is dying), he stands up, rearranges the stage to a beautiful prairie fields (of her dream), and send his mom off with a fancy hot air balloon. His standing up in the end is so very powerful, because 90% of his time on stage he is just sitting, and being taken cared by his mom.

Same as those crying by Tae-eul.

*In case you want to know, the play is called For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again by Michel Tremblay

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I think KGE really owned this episode, just as how WDH dominated episode 7 and KKN episode 8. Actually thought LMH did a good job here - this would've been one of his best episodes but KGE just pipped him to win the MVP title.

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@ Toki,
I think Lee Gon's visits is not always in chronological order like that last scene with the flower. It was made clearer on the next episode when she saw his coat.

I'm guessing it's Luna. She has been the one following her around.

I think Seo-ryung might have killed her doppelganger before she ran into Tae-eul. A student wouldn't afford designer shoes.That's more like Seo-ryung's style.

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Yeah, I also think it's Luna.. as part of the plan to switch them.

And yes, like both of you, I do think it's Seo-ryung. Although I don't believe she already killed her doppelganger. I guess she's just curious at this point, and Lee Rim showed her RoK to prove himself right. She really won't get anything for killing the student because she'd be better off in the Kingdom. Unless she also wants god-like power hehehe

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Well, Seo-ryung is a public figure and her doppelganger has her face shown also on the newspaper.
Rim really knows how to get her on his side.

She could still be alive, I'm just guessing here.

I feel bad for her mother. She seems like a decent lady.

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I guess we will see how Seo-ryung met Rim next episode. I don't know if doppelganger is already dead... but how did she get the ID if not?

I feel bad for her mother too. :(

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Ohoh..Didn't think how she came by the ID ! This doesn't bode well for her doppelganger's well being, but may be Rim has just kept her captive(?). As out for herself as she is, I still hold out hope that she won't stand for an innocent to be murdered and would put the well-being off the kingdom ahead of her ambitions when the right time comes(?)

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I feel really bad for Seo-Ryung's doppelganger as she seemed a good person to me!

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I also thought the show wants us to know that it was PM Koo in RoK. When she swapped out of her shoes to high heels,you could see the shoe bites on her foot.RoK Koo( in the only shot we have been shown of her) seemed to prefer the casual sweats combo. I really hope she hasn't/ok'd Rim to have done away with her alternate just to saite her curiosity. In the last shot, she definitely seemed to recognize Yeong.

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@kiara yes, Taeul already confirmed herself that he was not from this time probably from the future. But the way Gon looked at her, something terrible will happen to Taeul. I'm just not ready for that yet!!

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Of I forgot she said it herself. I thought she said it in episode 12.
Thank you!

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No, she said when she saw that soft toy keychain, she remembered when he visited her. The dialogue was : "I could tell, that he was from different time, not different world. Perhaps, that was the time when I made up my mind about a lot of things"
Probably T